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Full text of "Investigation of Communist activities in the Los Angeles area. Hearings"

INVESTIGATION OF COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE 
LOS ANGELES AREA— Part 8 



HEARING 



BEFORE THE 



COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES 
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 



EIGHTY-THIRD CONGRESS 

FIRST SESSION 



NOVEMBER 23, 1953 



Printed for the use of the Committee on Un-American Activities 
INCLUDING INDEX 




UNITED STATES 
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
31747 WASHINGTON : 1954 



Boston Public Library 
Superintendent of Documents 

APR 7 - 1954 



COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES 
United States House of Representatives 

HAROLD H. VELDE, Illinois, Chairman 

BERNARD W. KEARNEY, New York FRANCIS E. WALTER, Pennsylvania 

DONALD L. JACKSON, California MORGAN M. MOULDER, Missouri 

KIT CLARDY, Michigan CLYDE DOYLE. California 

GORDON H. SCHERER, Ohio JAMES B. FRAZIER, Jr., Tennessee 

Robert L. Kunzig, Counsel 

Frank S. Tavennbk, Jr., Counsel 

Louis J. Russell, Chief Investigator 

Thomas W. Beale, Sr., Chief Clerk 

Raphael I. Nixon, Director of Research 

II 



CONTENTS 



Page 

November 23, 1953, testimony of — 

Max N. Benoff 3501 

John Brown 3508 

William M. Alland 3511 

Milton Merlin 3533 

Index 3557 

hi 



Public Law 601, 79th Congress 

The legislation under which the House Committee on Un-American 
Activities operates is Public Law 601, 79th Congress [1946], chapter 
753, 2d session, which provides : 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States 
of America in Congress assembled, * * * 

PART 2— RULES OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

Rule X 

SEC. 121. STANDING COMMITTEES 
******* 

17. Committee on Un-American Activities, to consist of nine members. 

Rule XI 

POWERS AND DUTIES OF COMMITTEES 
******* 

(q) (1) Committee on Un-American Activities. 

(A) Un-American activities. 

(2) The Committee on Un-American Activities, as a whole or by subcommit- 
tee, is authorized to make from time to time investigations of (i) the extent, 
character, and objects of un-American propaganda activities in the United States, 
(ii) the diffusion within the United States of subversive and un-American propa- 
ganda that is instigated from foreign countries or of a domestic origin and attacks 
the principle of the form of government as guaranteed by our Constitution, and 
(iii) all other questions in relation thereto that would aid Congress in any 
necessary remedial legislation. 

The Committee on Un-American Activities shall report to the House (or to the 
Clerk of the House if the House is not in session) the results of any such investi- 
gation, together with such recommendations as it deems advisable. 

For the purpose of any such investigation, the Committee on Un-American 
Activities, or any subcommittee thereof, is authorized to sit and act at such 
times and places within the United States, whether or not the House is sitting, 
has recessed, or has adjourned, to hold such hearings, to require the attendance 
of such witnesses and the production of such books, papers, and documents, and 
to take such testimony, as it deems necessary. Subpenas may be issued under 
the signature of the chairman of the committee or any subcommittee, or by any 
member designated by any such chairman, and may be served by any person 
designated by any such chairman or member. 

v 



RULES ADOPTED BY THE 83D CONGRESS 
House Resolution 5, January 3, 1953 

• ***••* 

Rule X 

STANDING COMMITTEES 

1. There shall be elected by the House, at the commencement of each Congress, 
the following standing committees : 

******* 

(q) Committee on Un-American Activities, to consist of nine members. 
******* 

Rule XI 

POWERS AND DUTIES OF COMMITTEES 



17. Committee on Un-American Activities. 

(a) Un-American Activities. 

(b) The Committee on Un-American Activities, as a whole or by subcommittee, 
is authorized to make from time to time, investigations of (1) the extent, char- 
acter, and objects of un-American propaganda activities in the United States, 
(2) the diffusion within the United States of subversive and un-American prop- 
aganda that is instigated from foreign countries or of a domestic origin and 
attacks the principle of the form of government as guaranteed by our Constitu- 
tion, and (3) all other questions in relation thereto that would aid Congress in 
any necessary remedial legislation. 

The Committee on Un-American Activities shall report to the House (or to the 
Clerk of the House if the House is not in session) the results of any such investi- 
gation, together with such recommendations as it deems advisable. 

For the purpose of any such investigation, the Committee on Un-American 
Activities, or any subcommittee thereof, is authorized to sit and act at such times 
and places within the United States, whether or not the House is sitting, has 
recessed, or has adjourned, to hold such hearings, to require the attendance of 
such witnesses and the production of such books, papers, and documents, and 
to take such testimony, as it deems necessary. Subpenas may be issued under 
the signature of the chairman of the committee or any subcommittee, or by any 
member designated by such chairman, and may be served by any person designated 
by any such chairman or member. 

VI 



INVESTIGATION OF COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE 
LOS ANGELES AEEA— PAET 8 



MONDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 1953 

United States House of Representatives, 

Committee on Un-American Activities, 

Los Angeles, Calif. 

executive session * 

The Committee on Un-American Activities met, pursuant to call, 
at 9 : 30 a. m., in room G-39, Federal Building, Los Angeles, Calif., 
Hon. Donald L. Jackson presiding. 

Committee members present: Representatives Donald L. Jackson 
and Clyde Doyle. 

Staff members present : Frank Tavenner, Jr., counsel ; and William 
A. Wheeler, investigator. 

Mr. Jackson. By direction of the chairman of the House Committee 
on Un-American Activities there is convened herewith a subcommittee 
of that committee, the subcommittee consisting of Congressman Doyle, 
with Congressman Jackson as acting chairman. 

Are you ready to proceed, Mr. Tavenner ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. Mr. Benoff. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you solemnly swear the testimony you are about 
to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, 
so help you God ? 

Mr. Benoff. I do. 

TESTIMONY OF MAX N. BENOFF 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state your name ? 

Mr. Benoff. Max Benoff. 

Mr. Tavenner. You testified before the Committee on Un-American 
Activities in Los Angeles on March 24, 1953, did you not ? 

Mr. Benoff. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee has been informed that you desire to 
appear again before the committee this morning. 

Mr. Benoff. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state to the committee, please, the reason 
for your desire to appear before the committee, and proceed to make 
such statements as you desire. 

Mr. Benoff. I want to thank you first for allowing me to appear 
here. 



1 Released by the full committee. 

3501 



3502 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Doyle. I think, Mr. Chairman, the witness is here without legal 
counsel. I wonder if that is entirely at your own choice. 

Mr. Benoff. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. You are willing to proceed without private counsel with 
you? 

Mr. Benoff. Yes. Mr. Tavenner, may I read a statement which I 
have prepared ? I am sorry, Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson. Proceed. 

Mr. Benoff. When I appeared before the House Committee on 
Un-American Activities I was motivated by only one desire: To 
draw a distinct line between my confused past and my clear knowledge 
and distinction of the truth which I see today. I not only wanted to 
make amends for personal mistakes and misassociations, but over- 
coming personal pride and false consideration which tied me to an 
untenable position, I wanted to be accepted by the movement which 
is now afoot and which I have now learned to respect as the only 
salvation, and that is the movement to stamp out communism. 

I used the privilege of appearing before the committee in order to 
make a public break and declare myself as an ally of the anti-Com- 
munist forces. Unknowingly I have been drawn into a movement, the 
true nature of which I never understood, which now turns out to 
have been part of a subversive activity which cannot be tolerated by 
anyone who calls himself an American. Now, it has become clear 
to me that the Communists have declared war on us and they intend 
to win this war with every means at their disposal, aboveboard or 
underground. 

After my testimony I have found that the impression created by 
me on the stand was not what I intended. Where I thought that I 
had been 100 percent cooperative, some people, whose patriotism has 
been above reproach, have expressed their disappointment in the 
manner and contents of my statements. Looking back, I must say 
that I could have been more definite, but I would like to submit that at 
that time I was only intent upon declaring myself as a cooperative 
witness and had left the manner and extent of the questioning to the 
committee. 

It was only human of me to try and make my appearance as short as 
possible. When the committee had no more questions and I was 
thanked for my testimony, I stepped off the stand, relieved and con- 
vinced that I had done my duty and accomplished my purpose. 

However, as long as even one doubt remains among people whose 
fight against communism I admire and eagerly support, I know that 
I have not done enough. I am not sure what else I can do, and I 
am not sure of some of the facts that unfortunately seem to be on 
record against me, and which I can less explain than some people who 
may be experts in the structure, organization, and workings of the 
Communist menace and disease. 

But I want to reiterate that I would go to any extent to help uncover 
facts that I may not be aware of if, with the help of more competent 
people, I could be assisted in remembering. 

The basic facts, as given in my short testimony, are still, to my best 
recollection, the sum total of my Communist Party affiliations. The 
names mentioned by me are still more or less all the names that I can 
identify with the degree of certainty required under oath. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3503 

However, a great deal can sometimes be achieved if good people get 
together and cooperate. I would be happy and privileged in doing 
my duty as a citizen if I were permitted to dig into my past, with the 
help of the investigator or even a group of citizens whom I respect, in 
order to unearth any more clues that might be of any value in our 
fight against the common enemy. 

Do I need to add that I am, above and beyond my above statements, 
ready, willing, and eager to take up arms, literally or any other way, 
to do my little share as a citizen ? 

Mr. Jackson. Thank you, Mr. Benoff. 

Mr. Counsel. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Benoff, you testified when before the committee 
previously of the character of work in which you had been engaged 
in New York City prior to your coining to Hollywood in the year 
1943. You were asked the question at that time as to whether or not 
you had been affiliated with the Communist Party in any manner in 
New York prior to your coming to Los Angeles, and your reply was 
that you had not. 

You were also asked the question as to whether or not you had been 
approached in New York City by anyone and requested to join the 
Communist Party, and you replied that you had not. 

The committee is in possession of information indicating that your 
Communist Party membership was transferred in November 1943 
from the city of New York to Los Angeles. That is the only matter 
that comes within my knowledge as to which you could be further 
interrogated with the prospect of accomplishing any further purpose. 

So I would like to ask you now whether you desire in any way to 
enlarge upon your former testimony. 

Mr. Benoff. Yes, Mr. Tavenner, I do very much want to enlarge 
upon that. When I gave that answer it was a truthful answer, and 
this is my enlargement upon it. When we worked on Duffy's Tavern 
2 men came from Hollywood — one was Jack Moss — to produce a pic- 
ture show out of the road show Duffy's Tavern. The other fellow 
was a writer whose name was Lou Soloman. 

Mr. Jackson. Would you spell that, please ? 

Mr. Benoff. L-o-u S-o-l-o-m-a-n. And now I can't recall that he 
said to me, "Will you join the Communist Party?" If he did, I 
would be more than happy to say so, that he did, if he signed me. 
If I actually had a clear recollection, or even a hazy recollection — 
although you want me to say only what I recall, I know. I would 
tell you so. I have nothing to hide and don't want to hide anything 
from the committee. 

But I can only say this : This is what it must have been— and in 
retrospect it explains a lot of things that don't seem quite right— I am 
sure that he said to me, "Would you like to meet big writers like 
myself?" I thought he was a big writer. He wasn't very 

Mr. Tavenner. To whom are you referring ? 

Mr. Benoff. To Mr. Lou Soloman; not to Mr. Moss. I don't 
remember this type of conversation with Mr. Moss. 

He must have said to me, "Would you like to meet with big writers ?" 
And in those clays discussions of communism was not like it 

Mr. Doyle. What year was this ? 



31747— 54— pt. 8- 



3504 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Benoff. 1943. They came out — I don't remember exactly. 
I left, I believe, in June, and I believe they were in New York for 
about a month with us, in which time they signed us to write the 
screenplay with Lou Soloman, and to come back to Hollywood with 
a kind of screenplay; that is, he came to get the title and he got it 
and we were brought back. He may have said to me, "Would you 
like to join the Communist Party?" at which time it wouldn't have 
seemed so out of line for me to say, and possibly I told him "Yes." 
I may have, but I don't think I did ; but possibly I did. 

I know one thing, it was always the mark of a good Communist 
to grab a recruit whenever you can ; even if he wasn't very good you 
got him and worked with him. I remember once walking along the 
street with Jack Moss, walking and talking along, and he walked into 
a drugstore and bought me a copy of Mother Russia, and said, "Here, 
this will teach you more about Russia." 

That is all I can remember. I don't recall even going to one meet- 
ing. If there was any kind of activity there, there never was any 
kind of Communist Party activity on my part. 

Mr. Tavennek. You are speaking now of the city of New York? 

Mr. Benoff. Yes, the city of New York. And I would have no 
reason to — believe me, gentlemen, I don't want — there is no reason 
why I would want to tell about California and not this part of 
New York. It didn't seem very important. I discussed with my 
attorneys at the time, as a matter of fact, and I know how the com- 
mittee — I know from Mr. Wheeler you have to be pretty definite 
before you can say anything that will incriminate on the stand, and 
I know the high purpose of the committee is not to say things that 
have no real backing. 

Mr. Jackson. What was the general nature of the representations, 
if any, that were made to you by Mr. Soloman, or your general im- 
pression as to his political philosophy ? 

Mr. Benoff. Well, Mr. Jackson, you know, in retrospect now, that 
Mr. Soloman has been identified a number of times as a Communist. 
You know, you are bound to be affected by things that are spoken, 
but, honestly, here is what really went on : 

He came there with the treatment for Duffy's Tavern. Duffy's 
Tavern was not anything that had to do with communism; com- 
pletely opposite, as a matter of fact ; that is, opposite in that it was 
free and democratic and so forth. And our discussions were mainly 
upon this thing, because we had all worked very hard on Duffy's 
Tavern for 2 years, day and night, and it meant very much to us. 
First, when they came they had to make a deal. So really it was a 
very short period. First they came, they had to make the deal — it 
wasn't made yet — then the time had to be spent to make the deal. 
Then it was to hire the writers, and we were naturally selected to 
be the writers. And that was kind of a shaking thing, because it 
was so much money we were getting, and so on. There really wasn't 
much time. 

Now, I might add that Lou Soloman didn't take very much to me. 
Whatever it was, our personalities were not of the same type. He 
was a much more serious fellow than I am ; was a different type fellow 
than I am. In fact, what happened was when we came out here I 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3505 

left Duffy's Tavern and went into picture work, and I never even 
talked to Lou Soloman. He never called me up and said, "Come 
to a meeting," and he had nothing to do at all with any Communist 
Party activity here. I never saw him at a meeting. That's hard to 
say because — in fact, I will take that back, because that is hard to 
say because you get everything confused. Now, it is 10 years or so, 
and what you think you saw at the Screen Writers' Guild or Veterans 
Committee meeting, maybe you are now mistaken. 

Mr. Jackson. Well now, today, under the compulsion of your oath, 
you are prepared, Mr. Benoff, without equivocation, to say that you 
have told the committee everything within your recollection or your 
knowledge ? 

Mr. Benoff. Absolutely. 

Mr. Jackson. As to your activities in and on behalf of the Com- 
munist Party, and also the names of all the individuals with whom you 
attended Communist Party meetings or Communist Party functions? 

Mr. Benoff. In New York, you mean ? 

Mr. Jackson. Yes. 

Mr. Benoff. Yes, sir, absolutely so, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Jackson. Is there anything, Mr. Doyle ? 

Mr. Doyle. Let's see, you are how old now ? 

Mr. Benoff. Thirty-eight. 

Mr. Doyle. During this time, 10 years ago, you were 28 ? 

Mr. Benoff. That is right, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. I notice that you mentioned, though, that Mr. Moss 
stopped at a store and bought you a book about Russia and said, "Here 
is more about Russia." Apparently you had been discussing Russia. 

Mr. Benoff. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. In what way, with Mr. Moss ? 

Mr. Benoff. Just as anybody would discuss it at that time. I think 
we were together in the war then, I believe we were. I don't know 
how the conversation could have started. It wouldn't be that start- 
ling, to make me remember, but I remember him buying me a book. 
But it could have started about why they were our allies. I don't 
know whether there was a second front then. Any one of those 
things. 

Mr. Doyle. What? 

Mr. Benoff. Certainly, Mr. Doyle, it had nothing to do — I don't 
know. It had nothing to do with the nature of the material in the 
screen play. 

Mr. Doyle. I am interested in seeing if you could help me under- 
stand more what it is that impels you now to be so desirous of doing 
everything you can to do what you said you want to do in the state- 
ment you just read to us, to the committee; that is, to cooperate in 
defeating the Communist conspiracy. What is it, Mr. Benoff, that 
impels you to that position? 

Mr. Benoff. Well, you know, it is a hard thing to say. Of course, 
it has to do with work. But that is not it. It is a hard thing to say. 
I can't stand the thought that people are saying, "What's the matter 
with Benoff," you know. "Is he still a Communist ?" 

For instance, a man who I respect very much said to me, "Let your 
conscience be your guide." Now, that is terrible. I mean, I can't go 



3506 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

through life with people thinking I am not an American or there 
is some kind of spy kind of thing, or something like that. The rumors 
that get around are just terrible. These things kill me. I have to 
clear that up, and I think what happened last time, if the testimony 
got around to being too flippant, that I have led some people to be- 
lieve that — that's what I want to erase. I mean I am deadly serious 
about this. I can't have people say these things about me. 

If I may, I would like — for instance, it has been brought to my 
attention — I didn't know this thing was going on about 

Mr. Doyle. What? 

Mr. Benoff. I mean, people saying, or a man who I had admired 
and respected, saying, "Let your conscience be your guide." What's 
going on ? 

Then I found out there is a rumor aflight that I worked in the Rus- 
sian Embassy, that my father worked in the Russian Embassy. That 
is not so. The simple fact of the story is that way back, when I was 
about 19, I worked for Torgsin, who may have been a part of the 
Amtorg Trading Corp., which was a Russian subsidiary. I worked 
as a shipping clerk. I worked for $18 a week. I worked for 6 months. 
I was happy to have the job. They fired me, or I quit, I don't know 
which it was, what happened. 

Mr. Doyle. How did you get that? 

Mr. Benoff. My father did some insurance — he spoke Russian. 
I went back and asked my father, and he says, "You can go back 
to your children and everybody and say, 'I was not a member and 
am not.' " He is retired now, and doesn't do any business. That is 
the kind of rumor I want to dispel. 

Then I hear that when I got on the Life with Luigi, there was a 
fellow by the name of Hy Kraft, who has been identified, been brought 
up as a Communist, and that there was something indicated of a con- 
tact, you know, kind of Communist Party contact was alluded to. 
That is not so, because I was brought on to see if I could help that 
show. I was such a great aid that in 3 weeks Mr. Kraft was taken 
off the show. So how could there have been any connection, any kind 
of Communist Party connection between Mr. Kraft and myself? I 
mean, I think that I didn't make my position clear enough at the time ; 
I think I didn't quite understand it, and I think I have to make my 
position evident. There has to be definiteness about it. I don't want 
anybody to have any idea that I am affiliated with the Communists. 
I think it is terrible. 

Mr. Doyle. What is wrong with the Communist propaganda pro- 
gram, as far as our Nation is concerned with it, what is there, in your 
judgment, that makes you so anxious to divorce yourself of the pos- 
sibility that at any time you were a member of the Communist Party ? 
Suppose you had been ? Suppose you were now ? 

Mr. Benoff. Oh, no. Communism, as I said, it is a disease, it 
is a menace, and, well, it's taken a lot of people and been a hard lesson 
to learn ; against every interest of our country. It has to be destroyed, 
I think. 

Mr. Doyle. I agree with you, of course, but I want to see if part of 
your motive in coming here this morning was to come out against 
the Communist propaganda program, rather than just entirely to 
clear up your own status in the community ; if you get my point. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3507 

Mr. Benoff. I certainly do. If I haven't made myself clear- 



Mr. Doyle. In other words, the reason Don Jackson and I are here 
this morning is because there is a real threat to our whole constitutional 
existence by reason of the proven subversive Communist conspiracy to 
overthrow it by force and violence. 

Mr. Benoff. Absolutely. Oh, yes, sir. I had that in my state- 
ment. I sat down and I said, "Put down what you think." And I 
do want to join with the forces 

Mr. Doyle. May I ask you one more question : Since you appeared 
before the committee before, you are adding this supplementary state- 
ment — in the interim has it come to you that anything that this 
committee could do or should do in connection with our hearings, 
public hearings, such as you appeared in before, that we did not do 
before? Is there any way we could make that sort of hearing more 
efficient and of an aid in any way against the Communist conspiracy ? 
You have had several months to think it over. 

Mr. Benoff. No, sir. I think the committee is doing a fine job. I 
think I can help because I think you see it is a frightening thing to 
appear in public. It is tough for people to appear in public, and I 
think that persons like myself who have been through this, wherever 
he finds anybody who is in a similar spot, and either can't make the 
break or has some doubts, or is being duped and doesn't recognize it, 
I think I can do a lot of good work. 

Mr. Doyle. Then you feel the committee has done and is doing a 
good job ? 

Mr. Benoff. Wonderful. 

Mr. Doyle. That is all, Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson. Are you presently employed, Mr. Benoff ? 

Mr. Benoff. No, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. But your occupation is that of screen and radio 
writer ? 

Mr. Benoff. Yes, sir, and television. 

Mr. Jackson. In connection with the supplemental appearance of 
yourself, has any person made any promises or 

Mr. Benoff. On, no, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. This is a voluntary appearance in order to supple- 
ment your previous testimony ? 

Mr. Benoff. Yes ; I requested this and I appreciate being granted 
an opportunity. 

Mr. Jackson. May I say on behalf of the committee we are very 
glad to have the supplemental testimony. We appreciate your desire 
to clear this matter up entirely. The. subcommittee appreciates your 
cooperation. 

Is there any reason why the witness should not be excused ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No. 

Mr. Jackson. Thank you. You are excused. 

Mr. Brown, will you raise your right hand, please ? 

Do you solemnly swear the testimony you are about to give will be 
the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you 
God? 

Mr. Brown. I do. 

Mr. Jackson. Be seated, please. 



3508 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

TESTIMONY OF JOHN BROWN, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS COUNSEL, 

J. B. TIETZ 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your name ? 

Mr. Brown. John Brown. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are accompanied by counsel ? 

Mr. Brown. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you please give your name ? 

Mr. Tietz. J. B. Tietz, Los Angeles. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born, Mr. Brown? 

Mr. Brown. Yorkshire, England, April 4, 1904. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you come to this country ? 

Mr. Brown. 1915. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you a naturalized American citizen? 

Mr. Brown. Yes, sir, through my father's naturalization. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where was he naturalized ? 

Mr. Brown. 1923, New York City. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was your father's name ? 

Mr. Brown. Julius. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your occupation, Mr. Brown? 

Mr. Brown. Actor. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, briefly what 
your formal educational training has been? 

Mr. Brown. I attended grade school in England, Australia, and 
New York City in the United States, and I think about one term of 
high school, and, oh, a few weeks at night school. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, what your rec- 
ord of employment has been since 1940 ? 

Mr. Brown. Since 1940 I have been a free-lance actor, working 
mostly in radio. I have done a few pictures, small parts, and a little 
television. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you describe more fully what your employment 
in the moving picture industry has been ? 

Mr. Brown. Well, sir, it is a difficult thing to describe, since I am 
what is called a bit actor in pictures ; called for whatever thing they 
happen to think I can do. Most of my employment has been no more 
than a day or 2 da3 7 s' duration. 

Mr. Jackson. Extending over what period of time, Mr. Brown? 

Mr. Brown. I came here in 1943, and I did my first picture work 
at that time, or in 1944. 

Mr. Tietz. By here, you mean Los Angeles ? 

Mr. Jackson. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you describe more fully what your connection 
has been with the radio industry ? 

Mr. Brown. In the radio industry I am also a free-lance actor. 
I have done a great deal more work in radio than pictures. I have 
played mostly comedy parts, as a straight man or comedian. I have 
also played dramatic roles in dramatic — I don't know whether you 
know the situation. An actor is called for practically everything 
that is going on. In New York, for instance, there are a great many 
so-called soap operas, which I did a good deal of, and out here on 
the coast I have done mostly comedy shows. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3509 

Mr. Tavenner. How long have you been engaged in that type of 
radio entertainment? 

Mr. Brown. I believe I began in 1934. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you come to Los Angeles ? 

Mr. Brown. Late 1943 ; I think either very late in October or very 
late in November. 

Mr. Tavenner. Prior to that time where did you reside ? 

Mr. Brown. New York. 

Mr. Tavenner. How were you employed at the time you left New 
York and came to Los Angeles ? 

Mr. Brown. As a radio actor. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Brown, have you had the opportunity, either in 
New York or in Los Angeles, to observe any of the workings of the 
Communist Party ? 

Mr. Brown. I decline to answer that question on the grounds of the 
fifth amendment, on the grounds that my answer might tend to in- 
criminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you at any time affiliated with the Communist 
Party in the city of New York ? 

Mr. Brown. I decline to answer that question, sir, on the same 
grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you at any time been affiliated with the Com- 
munist Party in Los Angeles ? 

Mr. Brown. I decline to answer that question, sir, on the same 
grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you now a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Brown. I decline to answer that question, sir, on the same 
grounds. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Doyle, any questions J 

Mr. Doyle. Are you a registered voter in the State of California ? 

Mr. Brown. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. Have you continuously registered as a voter in the 
State of California since you came here ? 

Mr. Brown. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. I don't question your right to raise the fifth amendment. 
I am a lawyer, too, I wish to say to counsel. But I am disappointed 
in your doing it, sir. I want to make that very clear to you. I don't 
criticize it, but I am disappointed. Because we are here as a subcom- 
mittee of your own Congress on a very difficult assignment. We are 
trying to help uncover the subversive elements in our Nation. 

I have just come back from Europe. I had been there 30 days. And 
again I find the best evidence we can get that there is a conspiracy 
over there emanating directly from the Soviet Union, and it is sub- 
stantially the same as it is in your country and mine. I hope the time 
will come before you are much older, Mr. Brown, that with the advice 
of your counsel, you will feel the protection of your country, and to 
help the committee uncover whatever there is, if you know anything, 
about subversive conspiracy in our Nation. 

I think that is all, Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson. Did you have anything further ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, Mr. Chairman. I think I should ask the wit- 
ness 1 or 2 more questions. 

Are you acquainted with a Mr. Houseley Stevenson, Jr. ? 



3510 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Brown. I decline to answer that question on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Stevenson testified in an executive session, or 
made a sworn statement for use by this committee, under date of 
September 11, 1953, in which he states that he was a member of a 
neighborhood group of the Communist Party in New York City in 
1936 or 1937, and he identified you as a member of that group of the 
Communist Party. 

I desire to give you an opportunity to make any explanation that 
may be in keeping with the facts regarding that testimony, or to deny 
it or to confirm it. 

Mr. Brown. Is that a question, sir ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Brown. I decline to answer, sir, on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with Mr. Robert Shayne Dawe? 

Mr. Brown. I decline to answer, sir, on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Dawe testified before this committee on the 
same day, September 11, 1953, and stated that he had been a member 
of the Communist Party in the city of New York and identified you 
as having been a member of the Communist Party group of which 
he was a member. 

He further testified that at that time you were active in radio prin- 
cipally, and that later you became an important supporting player 
with Fred Allen's show. 

I desire to give you the opportunity to make such explanation as 
the facts may justify regarding the testimony of Mr. Shayne, and 
to either deny or confirm this statement that you were a member 
of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Brown. If that is a question, I decline to answer it on the 
same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Doyle. May I ask you, were you a member of Fred Allen's 
show in New York? 

Mr. Brown. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. What period of time? 

Mr. Brown. From about 1934 to 1943. 

Mr. Doyle. You were a member of the cast? 

Mr. Brown. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. And all that time was the show performing in New 
York City? 

Mr. Brown. No, sir ; not all the time. We came to the coast twice 
for very short periods while Mr. Allen was making a moving picture. 

Mr. Doyle. Los Angeles? 

Mr. Brown. Los Angeles; yes. 

Mr. Doyle. But you were with that show all during that period that 
you related? 

Mr. Brown. Yes. 

Mr. Jackson. Is there any reason why the witness should not be 
excused ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. Very well. The witness is excused. 

Do you solemnly swear the testimony you are about to give will 
be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you 
God? 

Mr. Alland. I do. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3511 

TESTIMONY OF WILLIAM L. ALLAND 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your name, please, sir? 

Mr. Alland. William L. Alland, A-1-l-a-n-d. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you accompanied by counsel, Mr. Alland? 

Mr. Alland. No, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. It is the practice of the committee to inform every 
witness that he has the right to counsel, and we give him an oppor- 
tunity to have counsel present with him if he desires. 

Mr. Allland. I don't feel I need counsel, since I wish to speak 
freely and of my own conscience, so to speak. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born, Mr. Alland ? 

Mr. Alland. Delmar, Del.; March 4, 1916. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where do you now reside? 

Mr. Alland. I reside in Canoga Park, Calif. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long have you resided in California? 

Mr. Alland. Since the end of 1939. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where did you reside prior to that time? 

Mr. Alland. Prior to that time I lived in New York. Before that 
in Baltimore, Md., where I was brought as a young child from 
Delaware. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you leave Baltimore to take up your 
residence in New York ? 

Mr. Alland. I can't remember the date. I was, I think, 18 years 
old. 

Mr. Tavenner. And you lived continuously in New York until 
you came to California ? 

Mr. Alland. Yes, sir. I went there to go on the stage ; or try. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your occupation ? 

Mr. Alland. I have been for the last 3 years a motion-picture 
producer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee at this point, please, 
what your educational training has been ? 

Mr. Alland. Well, I went partially through high school. I also, 
while in New York, took various courses in the history of the Ameri- 
can theater; courses in stage design, courses in acting, and all the 
various courses that one should take if one is interested in the theater, 
in a full career in the theater. 

Mr. Tavenner. You stated that for the past 3 years you have been 
a producer ? 

Mr. Alland. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Moving-picture producer ? 

Mr. Alland. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, just what your 
record of employment has been up to and including that period of 
time? 

Mr. Alland. Well, in New York, after going to dramatic schools 
and acting in summer theater, I joined the Mercury Theater, which 
is an acting group in New York, professional group. I was employed 
as an actor and stage manager. This group also did radio shows, 
and I acted and helped produce those radio shows. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you describe those radio shows more fully ? 

31747— 54— pt. 8 3 



3512 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Alland. They were our entertainments. One of the most 
familiar ones was the "War of the Worlds" broadcast, the frighten- 
ing one. You probably remember that. 

Then this organization came to California. The head of it was 
Orson Welles. And we got a contract at RKO to make pictures. 
And I was taken along on a salary. We spent some time at RKO 
learning how to make movies, and this period resulted in our making 
the picture called Citizen Kane. 

After Citizen Kane we went back to New York to put on a play 
called Native Son. After Mr. Welles left first and went back and got 
it organized, when he got to the final staging, I was sent for and I 
was one of the stage managers of that production. 

We returned — I am not giving dates. Is that all right ? 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like for you to give them approximately, if 
you can. 

Mr. Alland. Well, Citizen Kane was in 1940. The trip to New 
York for Native Son was the winter of 1940-4 1 . 

I returned to California in the spring of 1941. Now, these are 
approximate dates. 

Mr. Jackson. To the best of your recollection. 

Mr. Alland. Yes. I might be quite off. I am very bad at dates. 
I am sorry. 

I returned to California in the spring of 1941, and I left the Mer- 
cury Theater shortly thereafter. I left after a disagreement with 
Mr. Welles regarding salary. 

I then did odd jobs around the motion-picture business, little bits 
here, and collected unemployment insurance. I just sort of got by 
with odd jobs in the industry, until Pearl Harbor. A few weeks after 
Pearl Harbor I went to New York and went to work for the Office 
of War Information. We did radio propaganda broadcasts to all 
the foreign countries, and I helped produce them, stage them. I 
didn't write them. I merely — I had nothing to do with them except 
to — most of these people were foreigners, didn't understand micro- 
phones, and I staged the shows, helped them put them on. 

I also developed my own program, which was a history of jazz 
program, which was beamed to our troops all over the world ; which 
I am quite proud of. 

So this was in the year after Pearl Harbor. I worked for the 
Office of War Information for 6 or 7 months or so, and in August of 
that year I enlisted. I resigned to enlist in the Air Corps, and I 
became an aviation cadet and I was sent to Texas and spent a year 
training as a pilot. Then I was a combat pilot in the Pacific theater, 
and I was mustered out in August of 1945. 

I got back to California, and finally, at the end of 1945 I developed 
an idea for a radio program called Doorway to Life, which was a 
dramatization of problems in child psychology. The attempt there 
was to help parents to understand how to handle their children so as 
to prevent them from becoming neurotic and delinquent; which is 
relatively a new science. I didn't know anything about it when I got 
back, but I met some neighbors who had a little child and it seemed to 
me that they were raising this child improperly; never knew the 
difference between right and wrong, and I read a couple of books by 
Gesell of Yale, and it opened up quite a thing, opened up my own 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3513 

eyes to my own childhood, and I began to realize what my own prob- 
lems were, and this interested me. 

And eventually we got to a psychoanalyst, child experts, and got 
them to cooperate, give us case histories which we dramatized and 
put on the air, and sold this show to Columbia Broadcasting System, 
and it was on the air for little over a year. 

Then the program went off the air. I had hopes that I could sell 
a few of these for motion-pictures films, and there was a delay. I 
think we did not have the right to sell these programs for films until 
6 months after they were off the air, and so for a 6 -month period 
I didn't do very much, just getting by — couldn't sell them. 

In March of 1946 I opened a model airplane store, hobby shop. 
Strange thing, I had always been interested in model airplanes and 
I built these radio-controlled jobs and, and actually was kind of 
psychological. I didn't seem to be able to find my way, and I re- 
treated to childhood, playing with toys, what you might say it was. 

We submitted the show at the beginning of 1946 to CBS, and it 
took months to decide whether they wanted it or not. During this 
period I opened up this model airplane shop, within the period from 
March through to around September 1946. At that time CBS said, 
"We will buy the show and go to work," which I closed the model 
airplane shop, practically bankrupt by then, anyway, and we started 
writing the program. And then were on, as I said, the program 
continued through the end of 1947, somewhere in there. Then again 
a bleak period, waiting for the 6 months — that is, when the 6 months 
were up we didn't sell the show to films as we had hoped to do. But 
I did manage to play the records of a couple of them for a producer 
at Universal, and he was very impressed with them and said that 
while he didn't feel it was the kind of thing suitable for his type of 
operation, he did like the shows and he did like my work, and he said, 
"How would you like to come to work for me as an assistant working 
with writers?" 

I accepted, but the job didn't materialize until March of 1950, I 
believe. And I worked as an assistant and began to bring in story 
ideas that they liked, and eventually was made a full producer. 

I think that's the story of my employment. 

Mr. Jackson. That date was when, Mr. Alland ? 

Mr. Alland. The date I became a full producer ? 

Mr. Jackson. Yes. 

Mr. Alland. About 3 years ago, November 1950, I would say. I 
was actually associate producer with Leonard Goldstein, really pro- 
ducing, but didn't get the credit, I would say, a full producer getting 
credit myself until 2y 2 years, something like that, ago. 

Mr. Tavenner. What are some of the principal pictures you have 
received credits for as a producer ? 

Mr. Alland. Well, what you call the Lawless Breed, a western,, 
based on the life of John Wesley Hardin. 

Also, a horror picture called the Black Castle; The Raiders, which 
is a western. Stand at Apache River, which is a western, and It 
Came From Outer Space, science fiction, that was finally produced,, 
the first 3-D picture at the studio. And I have just completed two 
others. One is sort of a horror picture, Black Lagoon. This is 
about a hypothetical monster in human form but with quills, who 
lives under the sea. 



3514 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

And I have just completed another one called Johnny Dark, which 
is the story of road racing, which I think is going to be very good. 
By the way, it has a race in it from Canada to Mexico, across the 
whole breadth and width of the United States, on wide screen. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Alland, information has come to the attention 
of the committee indicating that you are in a position to give the 
committee information regarding activities of the Communist Party. 

My first question then is to ask you what opportunities you have 
had to observe Communist Party activities in New York and in 
Hollywood. 

Mr. Alland. Well, in the New York phase of my life there may 
have been opportunities, but I was completely unaware, really, of 
politics. I was very much interested in the theater, and I really can 
tell you nothing about Communist activity in New York, because I 
was a youngster and very much in love with the theater. And I 
am very happy that I didn't know anything about it at that time. 

In California is where my first contacts with this organization 
began ; during the making of Citizen Kane. 

Mr. Tavenner. That would have been about 1941 or 1942? 

Mr. Alland. 1940. Through the fact that I became engaged and 
married someone at that time who had been active in the Communist 
Party earlier, and I got my first sort of inkling about it. But I 
didn't personally engage in any activity of the Communist Party 
until after the war. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, would you tell the committee what you 
observed of the activity of the Communist Party prior to the war and 
during the period that you were shooting the picture Citizen Kane? 

Mr. Alland. Well, during that period, as I said, my first wife, 
whom I met, took me around and introduced me to some people. I 
recall one person that she introduced me to at that time was ( 2 ). 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me ask you, did you join the Communist Party 
at that time? 

Mr. Alland. No, sir. I mentioned this man's name. I do not 
mean necessarily to identify him as a member of the Communist 
Party. 

Mr. Jackson. I wish, in the mentioning of any names, you would 
be very careful unless you very definitely can identify them as mem- 
bers of the Communist Party, to your own knowledge. And your 
stipulation on Mr. will be noted. 

Mr. Alland. All right. The only thing of significance during 
that period was that I was taken to a school where courses, various 
courses in Communist philosophy, Marxism, were being taught, wide 
open, downtown on the second floor of the building. I can't at the 
moment recall the address of the street. It is the same street that 
Angel's Flight is on, I believe, and then the whole second floor of this 
building there were courses being taught. I attended a couple of 
these. 

Mr. Doyle. A couple of the courses ? 

Mr. Alland. Yes. These were being taught. I attended one 
course being taught by a woman named Eva Shafron. 

2 The person named by the witness was not satisfactorily identified as having been a 
memher of the Communist Party, and for that reason the name was deleted by the com- 
mittee. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3515 

Mr. Jackson. Spell the name. 
Mr. Alland. This was just- 



Mr. Wheeler. S-h-a-f-r-o-n. 

Mr. Alland. But I say this is just a short time before Pearl Harbor 
and wasn't pursued beyond that point. 

Then, as I told you, I went to New York and went to work, and 
subsequently enlisted in the Air Corps and went to Texas and then 
overseas. And then I returned to California. 

Now, with the exception of a couple of lectures that I attended 
at the so-called school, I engaged in no Communist activity, per se. 

Mr. Jackson. Were these individual lectures, or were they lecture 
courses ? 

Mr. Alland. Lecture courses, classroom, large group of people 
attending. 

Mr. Jackson. You attended the entire courses or lectures in the 
course ? 

Mr. Alland. Lectures in the course. I forget how many weeks the 
session was supposed to continue, but I only attended a couple of them, 
2 or 3. I am trying to remember the name — it was absolutely ele- 
mentary courses. I recall the blackboard, the old illustration that the 
man who makes 50 pairs of shoes in a factory, he doesn't get back all 
the 50, he only gets back part of what he makes, and therefore he is 
being cheated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether the name of the school was 
the Los Angeles Labor School ? 

Mr. Alland. It could very well be, sir. I can't say for sure. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was it through Communist Party associations that 
you attended that school ? 

Mr. Alland. Well, it was through my first wife that I attended. 
She took some courses and invited me to take some and I readily took 
them ; although, as I said, I found it difficult to stick at it hard and 
fast. I only attended a few of them. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you become a member of the Communist 
Party, if at all? 

Mr. Alland. I became a member of the Communist Party — let's 
see, the exact date — I have been going through, trying to construct this 
in my mind. To the best of my recollection, in February or March 
of 1946 1 was included into a neighborhood branch. 

Mr. Tavenner. How were you employed at that time ? 

Mr. Alland. At that time we were just opening this hobby shop. 
We submitted this radio show to CBS for their consideration, and 
while waiting I had opened this hobby shop. 

Mr. Tavenner. When you became a member of this Communist 
Party in 1946, were you assigned to a group or cell of the party ? 

Mr. Alland. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. By what name was the cell known ? 

Mr. Alland. The Echo Park branch, which, however, was divided 
into smaller units of the Echo Park branch. I was in — I forget it. It 
was given another name. Each of the various units of the Echo Park 
branch were given another name, and I was in one of the units of 
the Echo Park branch. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the membership of the various units of 
the branch, and of the branch ? 



3516 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Alland. I would say the membership varied from 15 to 45 
people. The entire branch could have been a very large number of 
people, as much as maybe 200 or 300, 1 imagine. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you ever hold a position in your group or cell 
of the party ? 

Mr. Alland. No official position, beyond the fact that I was asked 
to pick up literature at the bookstore and bring it to the meeting. We 
were all given assignments, so to speak, to discuss particular issues at 
the next meeting, read the paper or read such and such an article in 
one of the Communist magazines and discuss it, and this kind of thing. 
But I never, to my recollection, held a further position than that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who were the leaders among the group ? 

Mr. Alland. In this neighborhood branch I have great difficulty in 
recalling the names. I am hoping, through some help, to get this 
down. But Virginia Mullen was chairman of this group for a time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, this individual appeared as a wit- 
ness before the committee and refused to answer material questions in 
reliance upon the fifth amendment. She was an actress. 

Mr. Alland. She was more than that. I think you should know 
that. You see, when I started the idea for this child-psychology pro- 
gram I developed it to a certain point myself. At this point my first 
wife, who I was living with at that time, said, "I know someone," 
and also at this point I was not in the party yet — but this I don't 
want to be mistaken. I knew the people. They were in and out. It 
was very friendly. She told me that she knew someone who had 
studied some child psychology, worked with children, been a nursery- 
schoolteacher and had some children of her own, and that she might 
be helpful. And I said fine, and she introduced me to Virginia 
Mullen. 

She supplied me with some technical information, certain source 
material that I needed, and having children of her own, which I 
didn't have, it was very helpful in trying to dramatize these particu- 
lar cases of children, the habits of children, having a practice ex- 
perience, and then you could apply the problem, and she was very 
helpful. And while I wrote the show, I did at the same time give her 
cocredit with me, and this Doorway to Life series was presented on 
the air, and presented as the writers were William Alland and Vir- 
ginia Mullen. And it was a while after I started working with her 
on this show that I eventually went into her neighborhood branch. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did she play any part in your becoming a member 
of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Alland. She certainly did. Although, as I said, you have to 
be willing, you know. It is very nice to say — and I think this is the 
important thing, been very difficult for me to face — I always have been 
tempted to say these people did it to me. They do. But I think 
Americans must not be vulnerable. If you are vulnerable it is because 
you haven't been thinking clearly or fully appreciating what your life 
here is. 

Mr. Jackson. Did Miss Mullen suggest to you in so many words 
at the time, extend an invitation to you, or offer the suggestion that 
you should be in the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Alland. Yes. 

Mr. Jackson. I judge that this was not only in one instance? 

Mr. Alland. Oh, yes. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3517 

Mr. Tavenner. During the progress of your work with her did she 
at any time indicate to you the advisability of coloring your produc- 
tion with any Communist Party propaganda ? 

Mr. Alland. Oh, yes. And let me say that I would have at that 
time, I think, been amenable to doing so myself. It so happened that 
it was a kind of show which is like medical — I don't know how you 
can take medicine and inject propaganda into it. That is in terms of a 
diagnosis. These case histories were given to us by bona fide doctors 
and psychoanalysts here, and the Psychoanalytical Society, which is 
the top and respected organization here, when the script was finished, 
it had to be submitted to them for their approval, because when these 
went on the air, coast to coast, it was CBS who insisted on this that it 
was with the full backing and approval of an important and bona fide 
medical organization, you see. So there wasn't the opportunity. 

But I would say, had there been, I certainly think I would have 
tried. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give us the names of other persons who 
were active in the work of your Communist Party group ? 

Mr. Alland. In the neighborhood branch, which is the first group 
that I was in, there was Ruth Myerson, who was my first wife ; Vir- 
ginia Mullen, and there was a man, Les Bryant, and his wife. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you know what her name was, her first name? 

Mr. Alland. I don't recall, sir. Then a woman named Anita, her 
last name is Hay. 

Mr. Jackson. If possible, will you give the occupation or 

Mr. Alland. Les Bryant was at that time a soap manufacturer, 
small soap manufacturer. He later became a small building con- 
tractor. 

Anita Hay was a housewife, and her husband was a cost controller 
in some foundry, I believe. I don't recall the particular place. 

As I said, the members of the branch at the moment are very hazy 
to me, and I hope to, with Mr. Wheeler's help, go through this again. 
I do recall persons coming to this branch to give lectures and so on, 
and one was a man by the name of Paul Perlin. 

Mr. Tavenner. Perlin was a witness before the committee and 
refused to answer pertinent questions, relying upon the fifth amend- 
ment. He was one of the back-lot workers in the motion-picture 
industry. 

Mr. Alland. This man, by the way, had been introduced to me by 
my wife before the war. 

Mr. Doyle. How many times did he come, approximately? 

Mr. Alland. Before the war, sir ? 

Mr. Doyle. Before your group — Perlin. 

Mr. Alland. I would say several times. 

Mr. Doyle. Five or six ? 

Mr. Alland. I would say that, yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the nature of the appearance before your 
group ? 

Mr. Alland. Well, he evidently occupied an important position in 
the party, because he would come and conduct a series of lectures on 
party lines, and he mainly kept the group straight on how to think. 

Mr. Doyle. How many would attend these group meetings ? 



3518 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Alland. This branch, as I say, consisted, I would say, of about 
20 to 25 people. But the attendance would vary from 10, 15, or 20 
sometimes. These were weekly meetings held at private homes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, you were giving us the names of persons who 
had appeared in the role of lecturers before your group. 

Mr. Alland. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you continue, please? 

Mr. Alland. Mr. Perlin is the person that appeared as a lecturer. 
I don't recall others at the moment. Now, this is the most that I can 
recollect at the moment about this neighborhood branch. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long were you a member of the neighborhood 
branch ? 

Mr. Alland. For several months, from — well, as a matter of fact, 
from March of 1946, or the date that I was recruited, until the 
beginning of 1947. By this time the radio program was on the air, 
Doorway to Life, and doing well. And at this time I was ordered 
to transfer to a radio group. 

Mr. Tavenner. How did you receive that direction? 

Mr. Alland. I was told. 

Mr. Tavenner. By whom and under what circumstances ? 

Mr. Alland. I think I was visited at home by Alvin Hammer, who, 
by the way, I had never attended any meetings with, but who visited 
me, speaking in the name of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether he was a functionary in the 
Communist Party ? 

Mr. Alland. I assumed that he was, because, as I said, he came and 
told me that I should transfer to a radio branch. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I would like to state for the record 
that Alvin Hammer was subpenaed to Washington to appear before 
the committee and refused to answer any question relating to his Com- 
munist Party, alleged Communist Party activities, relying upon the 
fifth amendment. 

Mr. Alland. I would like to — I didn't read or hear the testimony 
in Washington, but I understand that Mr. Hammer was asked if he 
knew a Ruth Alland. I don't know if you recall this 

Mr. Doyle. Had he met her ? 

Mr. Alland. Yes. She had lived with the Hammers while I was 
overseas and I had met them when I first came home, and we rented 
right across the street from them. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was any reason assigned by Mr. Hammer as to 
why you should transfer to the radio group ? 

Mr. Alland. Yes. He felt that I could work for the party more 
efficiently in the radio group and I could gain some understanding, 
perhaps, of the radio writer in relation to the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Would you describe what he indicated your role 
should be ? 

Mr. Alland. Well, he didn't go any further; in a sense, he didn't 
have to. I understood what he meant, you might say. However, I got 
briefed much more thoroughly, of course, after I transferred into the 
radio group, when I was given my education, so to speak. 

Mr. Tavenner. Would you expand on that, please, at this time, and 
tell the committee just what your experiences were in the radio group 
of the Communist Party ? 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3519 

Mr. Alland. Well, you must understand in terms of the kind of 
show I was doing, the Communist Party wishes to pin all failings of 
people, any kind of trouble a person might have, on capitalism, you 
see. If you break a leg, they figure that you should, by applying 
Marxist philosophy, you can blame capitalism of the United States 
because you broke your leg, because if the sidewalk wasn't mended 
properly this means that somebody was greedy for money, or some- 
thing or other, and the whole tenor of the whole thing was to so con- 
trol your thinking that you could at any time come to the conclusion 
that, directly or indirectly, the United States, the United States Gov- 
ernment, and capitalism were responsible for all your troubles and all 
your problems. 

In this regard, the whole concept of psychology, the whole concept 
was that of a delinquent child could be delinquent because he wasn't 
brought up properly by his parents. That was wrong, frowned upon, 
that it had to be something wrong with the country for him to be a 
delinquent, you see. They therefore resisted very much this whole 
psychological approach. And, frankly, I don't understand why they 
didn't interfere with my show. 

Mr. Doyle. Who interfere? 

Mr. Alland. I sav I don't understand why they didn't. 
. Mr. Doyle. Who didn't? 

Mr. Alland. The party, the leadership. I was always expecting 
them to crack down, but they for some reason never did. In any case, 
I can only conclude that they would have felt they would have trouble 
because my material was completely documented, you know, all medical 
records, and they would have had a heck of a time, I believe. 

Mr. Doyle. How would they have cracked down on your show? 
What could they have done with your show ? You were the boss of it. 
You were the author of it. How could the Communists have done 
anything to your show? You were under a contract. 

Mr. Alland. By this, I mean that they could have ordered me to 
change it. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, you wouldn't have obeyed their orders. You were 
under contract. 

Mr. Alland. I certainlv wouldn't have. 

Mr. Doyle. What? 

Mr. Alland. I certainly would not have obeyed them. But what 
I was saying, I often wondered why they didn't and, as I say, it is 
very possible that they realized that they, legally, they couldn't control 
me, and left well enough alone. 

Mr. Doyle. Were you in the party then ? 

Mr. Alland. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. How much later on could they have bossed you and 
controlled you? 

Mr. Alland. Well, not — certainly not during the — you see, the 
show, the form of the show was prepared and developed and sub- 
mitted to CBS before I joined the party. While I was in the party 
is when CBS bought the show, and we were bound to a particular 
format, and nothing could be done. 

Mr. Doyle. Then there came a time in your party experience when 
the party could have controlled you in the show, didn't there? 

Mr. Alland. No, sir. 



31747— 54— pt. 8- 



3520 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Doyle. Not on this show, but on a show ? 

Mr. Alland. Oh, after this show was over they could have. But 
by the time I went to work in the film industry I was already out of 
the party. 

Mr. Doyle. I see. And the only reason you wouldn't have taken 
orders from the Communist Party in this show is because the format 
and all was agreed to with CBS ? 

Mr. Alland. That is correct. 

Mr. Doyle. You were under contract ? 

Mr. Alland. That is correct. 

Mr. Doyle. If you hadn't been under contract, you would have been 
glad to change the format if the party had told you so ? 

Mr. Alland. I suppose so, yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know of any instances in which a script, 
either in radio or in the movies, was altered at the insistence of a 
member of the Communist Party, acting as a representative of the 
Communist Party ? 

Mr. Alland. Only by hearsay. I personally never had any direct 
personal knowledge of such. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is the incident to which you refer? 

Mr. Alland. Well, it isn't a question of the incident. It is a ques- 
tion of constant discussion of the material on which writers were 
working. In this regard, I would say that the Communist writer 
working for films was always under the scrutiny of the party, and 
he was expected to check with his superiors as to what he was doing, 
make sure that he wasn't making any mistakes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you speaking of superiors in the industry or 
superiors in the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Alland. Superiors in the Communist Party, and particularly 
the educational experts, so to speak. While I can't at the moment 
recall any specific story, I do know that the writer was under sur- 
veillance by the party as to his work, and nothing that could be 
construed as an antipropaganda would be tolerated, nothing that 
could be considered anti-Russian would be tolerated. To glorify, or 
not even to glorify, to attempt to show in a good light an American 
tycoon, for instance— by "tycoon" I mean a big-business man, big 
corporation — to show him as being a gentleman or a kind man, a 
liberal man, would have been considered taboo. 

Mr. Doyle. You mean that screenwriters who were members of the 
Communist Party, such as you, would take their script away from 
their place of employment and submit it to Communist educational 
functionaries, and so forth ? How would they check it ? 

Mr. Alland. Let me say this, if they had been given an assign- 
ment of, let us say, a horror picture or western, in which there was 
no opportunity for — or where the studio did not require that the 
writer comment, in a sense — by "comment" I mean when you show 
a man a scene, acting in a particular way toward his employees, his 
family, other people — this is in a sense portraying the character of 
a man. 

Now, say, if it was the kind of a script where these possibilities 
didn't exist, then there wasn't any discussion. But if, let us say, 
the script dealt with, in any way, with issues, attitudes, ideas that 
could be made to seem to be detrimental to the party, the writer 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3521 

would certainly try to change them. And if he had trouble he would 
get help or try to get help. 

Mr. Doyle. Change them. But what I mean, Mr. Alland, would 
these Communist writers go to the point of taking their scripts away 
from the employer's premises ? 

Mr. Alland. Absolutely. 

Mr. Doyle. And take them to dignitaries of the Communist Party 
and submit them ? 

Mr. Alland. Absolutely. There is no rule against taking a script 
home. I take scripts home to work on many times. 

Mr. Doyle. There may not be any rule to taking them home, but 
when you Communist writers would take them away from your em- 
ployer's premises to take them home, would you also take them and 
submit them to your Communist bosses ? 

Mr. Alland. I am sure they do. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, did you ? 

Mr. Alland. No, because, you see, I was not a member at the time 
I went to work in the film industry. 

Mr. Doyle. Why are you sure they would ? 

Mr. Alland. Well, because I know of instances, although I cannot 
recall the specific material — you know, I would often hear Communist 
writers discussing the fact that he has a problem at the studio, they 
want him to say something which he feels would be detrimental to 
the party, or certain ideas they have; and having trouble with the 
producer trying to switch it, and what the heck can he do, and dis- 
cussing it back and forth, on how to handle it. 

Mr. Jackson. Would this be discussed at a meeting, or would this 
be in the nature of a private discussion which you happened to be a 
party to or 

Mr. Alland. Both. It could be the subject for informal discussion 
at a meeting or could be gone further into in a private discussion with 
a so-called expert. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you remember, if not specifically, generally, any 
such discussion of a script at the Communist Party meeting on the 
problems such as you have described ? 

Mr. Alland. Yes. But, as I say, I cannot recall the specific time 
and place. But I definitely recall such discussions. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you recall how they were resolved or what action 
was taken on them ? 

Mr. Alland. They were resolved in the writer figuring out a way 
of not saying what had been indicated in the script should be said. As 
you know, you start out with a story and from there you develop it 
into a screenplay. The producer buys a story or has it written, or 
thinks it up himself, and 

Mr. Jackson. And dialogue is put on the framework of the plot ? 

Mr. Alland. That is correct. And in this transferral phase, you 
see, that tampering with can be done, because the stories are usually 
bought by the producer. They come from magazines. They come 
from novels. Writers submit them. As far as original stories for 
the screen, I would say the Communist writers, over the years, have 
been completely unsuccessful in selling them, because they are pretty 
obvious what they are the minute you read them. Nobody would buy 
them. So the place that they can do something is in the screenplay. 



3522 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

I would say this, in my observation, that what they have been able 
to do is not so much put Communist propaganda into films, but what 
they have been able to do is prevent, to a great degree, the expression 
of anti-Communist sentiment in films. This is the big thing. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you familiar with what was known as a 
writers' clinic, composed of, exclusively of members of the Communist 
Party, in which the best Communist Party writers gave aid to others 
who were faced with the type of problems which you have mentioned? 

Mr. Alland. I was familiar with it in the sense that I had heard it 
discussed at meetings, and by members, that they had either gone to 
this clinic with a problem, or knew someone who had. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you ever appear before the writers' clinic? 

Mr. Alland. No, sir. No, sir. As I said, I was in the party during 
the period of the writing of the radio show, and for most of a year 
thereafter. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you leave the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Alland. I would like to explain that I drove a taxi for a year 
before, between the time I lost my radio show and went to work at 
Universal Studios. See, what happened was that after the radio show 
went off the air, and during this — well, after the radio show went off 
the air, shortly after I went to work and started driving a taxicab at 
nights, and along with that I also went and got some psychotherapy, 
psychoanalysis for myself, you see. 

Now, when I started my psychoanalysis, I was told, of course, that 
I couldn't attend party meetings any more. And I went — I had an 
analysis for the most part, for about a year. I started this analysis 
while I was still working, writing the radio show. I started it, really, 
because I was very disturbed about myself, and the whole relationship 
with the Communist Party, and what I saw and felt it was doing to 
me, and I had a deep feeling of guilt all the time ; I never felt really 
that it was a part of me, felt that I was a criminal every moment. 

Mr. Tavenner. And it was that which caused you to seek the 
analysis? 

Mr. Alland. That is right. That, plus my conflicting feelings 
about these people, my first wife and Mullen, who had great influence 
on me. And out of my analysis I divorced my first wife, and using 
it partly as an excuse not to go to meetings, you know, because of 
this analysis thing, and I helped work out my personal problems 
within myself as a human being. And, you see, I drove this taxicab 
at nights, on the night shift. 

Now, eventually I finished my analysis and I was still driving a 
taxicab. Then they reached out to try to get me back. And I had a 
great excuse because I was working nights, you see. So they arranged 
to have a couple of meetings a day especially for my benefit, which 
was January and February 1949. And I attended a couple and I 
just couldn't take it, just never came back. 

Mr. Doyle. You sav especially for your benefit ? 

Mr. Alland. That is right. 

Mr. Doyle. How many would attend those meetings that they ar- 
ranged especially for your benefit ? 

Mr. Alland. Oh, 10 to 12, or 4, 5, or 6. 

Mr. Doyle. What time of day and where ? 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3523 

Mr. Alland. Usually Saturday afternoon, and at some of these 
radio writers' houses. 

Mr. Doyle. Did they tell you why they were arranging these meet- 
ings especially for your benefit ? 

Mr. Alland. Because I said I couldn't come because I was working 
at night. And they said, "Well, we'll fix it so you can come at day- 
time," and so they fixed it. And I went to a couple. 

Mr. Tavenner. I think it would be well at this point to tell the 
committee who were the members of this radio group, and in doing 
so, describe their positions and activity in the party as well as you can, 
and also which of them made the effort to have the meeting set at a 
time convenient to you, and made an effort to bring you back into the 
Communist Party. 

Mr. Alland. Well, the radio branch consisted of Pauline Hopkins, 
Sam Moore, Reuben Ship, Mike Davidson, Virginia Mullen, Stanley 
Waxman, Jerry Fielding, Gene Stone, Jack and Mary Robinson, and 
for a very brief period, first couple — one meeting, actually ; very first, 
or second one, that I attended in the radio branch, Ed Max, who they 
were having trouble with, because he wasn't coming to meetings and 
seemed to be losing interest. 

Also during this early period a woman named Judy Raymond, who 
subsequently I heard had left and had cooperated with the 
committee 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. I think I should state for the record that 
Judith Raymond has testified in executive session. Her testimony 
as yet has not been made public, but she has fully cooperated with the 
committee in answering questions. 

Mr. Alland. A fellow named Hy Kraft, Lynn Whitney; a man 
by the name of Muni Diamond. Now, some of the people who came 
to these meetings for various reasons, for lectures, checkups and so on, 
were Paul Jarrico and John Howard Lawson. These are all the names 
I recall at the moment, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. What effort was made to have you to return to be- 
coming an active member ? 

Mr. Alland. Well, Paul Jarrico approached me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Tell the committee about that, please. 

Mr. Alland. He approached me and sympathized with the fact that 
I couldn't attend meetings because I was working, and said that he 
would see to it that arrangements would be made whereby I could 
attend. 

Mr. Doyle. Who was he at that time? 

Mr. Alland. Paul Jarrico was a functionary. I don't know what 
his exact title was, but he was important. 

Oh, incidentally, I recall there was a man who visited all the Holly- 
wood groups, a tall, thin man, who was sort of the — I forget his title, 
but he represented the downtown party ; always checking about dues. 
The name I cannot recall at the moment. He was very important. He 
was the Hollywood section, what would be called organizer. 

Mr. Tavenner. John Stapp? 

Mr. Alland. S-t-a-p-p. 

Mr. Doyle. Was Paul Jarrico from the Los Angeles office ? 

Mr. Alland. No, he was from Hollywood, sir. 



3524 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Doyle. When you said you have to be vulnerable — remember, 
a few minutes ago ? 

Mr. Alland. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. You said you have to be vulnerable. What did you 
mean by that, vulnerable to what? How were you vulnerable, for 
instance? 

Mr. Alland. Well, I was vulnerable in the sense that I was an 
emotionally very disturbed person. I was a very lonely person. I 
married the first time purely because I was lonely, and not doing any 
more intelligently than that, in a sense, in my particular case. I 
didn't enter any real conversion but primarily to go along with my 
wife and my friend and coworker Virginia Mullen, to be accepted, 
to not be outside, and I unfortunately did not have many friends, 
which is, you know — once I was in there you never do have any other 
friends. 

Mr. Doyle. Once you are in where ? 

Mr. Alland. In the party. You are just like you are walled off 
from the rest of society so that you really don't know what other 
people are thinking or feeling or how they behave. And after a 
certain point you forget people on the outside world, so to speak, and 
behave differently, and you begin to sort of think or fail to think 
in the same way. You think the same way these people do, and 
eventually you begin to take their standards of morality or im- 
morality for your own, without realizing it. You begin to feel it, to 
misrepresent, under circumstances, is a virtue rather than an evil. 

Mr. Tavenner. You become entirely dependent upon those who 
have become your new associates ? 

Mr. Alland. That is right. You get to the point where you sort 
of in a sense stop thinking for yourself and you look for the answers 
in the books and in the oracles of the party, the wise men of the party. 

The only thing it does — it did to me eventually — was that I just 
begin to feel smothered, and then, of course, I could go into the whole 
question of the things that were said and what was going on in the 
world, and it just got to the point where I couldn't make excuses ; I 
couldn't find the answers in the books or in the mouthpieces of the 
party that I could deeply accept as the real cause of what was 
happening in the world. 

Mr. Doyle. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Alland. I am sorry. I don't mean to be eloquent or 

Mr. Doyle. That is all right. 

Mr. Alland. Another example of this, and I think this is the key, 
once they put this thing into your reasoning it is very hard to put 
the pieces back together, and that is this : This whole attempt is to 
prove to you that the Government of the United States and the 
people of the United States are two separate things, and they, by an 
illogical logic, make you feel that your allegiance is to, somehow or 
other, the people but not the Government, and it leads to the following 
conclusion : That since this Govermnent does not represent the people, 
therefore you don't owe this Government any allegiance. You see? 

Mr. Doyle. Why doesn't the American Government represent the 
American people? What basis do they have for that? 

Mr. Alland. They have a long and involved theory having to do 
with the claim that — you see, they have a line, if you memorize and 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AKEA 3525 

repeat it long enough you accept it, which goes something like this — 
that the Government is a means of holding power by the ruling class. 
See ? Therefore, since the people aren't the ruling class and the cap- 
italists are the ruling class, the Government is the Government of the 
ruling class and, therefore, not of all the people. You see? 

Now, if you can accept this, your next step is to feel, well, you have 
no particular allegiance to the Government. The chink in this, of 
course, is the Government is duly elected by all the people and can 
be changed at any time, in terms of its personnel. As far as its 
particular structure, the Government of this country has changed, 
always changing its form. Of course, the basic concepts upon which 
has been founded this country have never changed and must never 
change, and they are, when you get out of this morass, in my opinion, 
the greatest precepts in the world. They are based upon Greek philos- 
ophy, Christianity. Talk about opportunities to express yourself, 
opportunities for the people to have their country whatever they 
want it is more possible here than any place in the world ; and this is 
the thing that they prevent you from arriving at. 

In my own case, of course, I will say that my elementary education 
was not a good one, and I feel deeply that part of the solution of this 
problem is that we must have a stronger educational system, par- 
ticularly in the elementary schools. Most people don't go much 
further than high school, you know. By the time they get to high 
school they are pretty well formed, anyway, and it becomes pure 
theory, but the children should understand completely the tremendous 
flexibility and freedom of expression and opportunity that you have 
under our system of government. 

And somehow, looking back at my own elementary school education, 
it was pretty dry. I never did really get to develop a sense of pa- 
triotism and pride that I should have, and I feel that the whole 
emphasis in our elementary school system is not proper. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, you were taught to salute the flag and your al- 
legiance to the flag. What more could you be taught? You were 
taught the stories about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, 
and the founding of the Constitutional Convention, the Declaration 
of Independence 

Mr. Alland. What I feel is that I was taught that, but didn't ob- 
serve it, and I feel this should be stressed more in schools, how this 
Government works, why it is your country, your Government — you 
know — the machinery whereby everybody 

Mr. Doyle. You think that elementary school children would com- 
prehend that ? 

Mr. Alland. I surely do. I sincerely do. It should be devised on a 
simple basis. I am very much interested in child education myself. 
It should be demonstrated in actual practice, you know what I mean. 
They should be educated ; educators can devise means of bringing it 
home clearly, the opportunities for expression of changing of — by 
"changing" I don't mean of changing your Congressmen — of any idea 
you have in terms of what you feel a Government should do or not do. 
The machinery is there constantly for the full expression of the will 
of the people at all times. And this, I feel, should be brought out 
dramatically and forcefully. 

Mr. Doyle. Manifestly, I didn't ask those questions because I dis- 
agreed with you, but I wanted to have you explain them. 



3526 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Alland. I see. And therefore, I feel it was because I didn't 
really understand this as thoroughly as I should have, the functions 
of how the United States Government, in relation to the people, how 
it operates, really operates. It was very easy to accept somebody say- 
ing, "Don't you see it, the government of one particular group of 
people against the rest of the people," and bang that long enough to 
accept it. 

Let me say this : I wanted to accept it, as I explained to you. I was 
a very emotionally disturbed person. I wanted to belong some place. 
I wanted somebody to take me in and make me feel at home. I was born 
and raised in a little town, only a few thousand people, and I lived a 
very lonely childhood. I was a misfit, and as a misfit I was fair game. 
That is all I can say. 

I will say that my analysis was just a tremendous help to me, and 
I can certainly understand why the Communist Party resists the idea 
of its people going to an analysis pretty much. You know, they don't 
want you to go. 

Mr. Tavenner. If I understand your views correctly, you feel it 
would be a great aid in the fight against communism if in early youth 
the opportunities for having a very sound and basic course in American 
history and study 

Mr. Alland. How our Government works for all the people. 

Mr. Tavenner. And the lives of great patriotic leaders in our 
country. 

Mr. Alland. Yes. Well, now, I would say that these are given, 
we get these, but by as much as I admired, and when I studied about 
them, they didn't really tell me how my Government was my Gov- 
ernment, why it was my Government, what my responsibilities to 
it were, what its responsibilities to me were, how it represented me 
every moment of my life, and how, through it, I could express my- 
self freely all the time. I don't feel that this is brought out strong 
enough in elementary school. I feel that if I did understand I 
could not have gone for some of this material. 

And yet, I am not blaming the educational system. I say I was 
vulnerable because of my emotions and problems and compound this 
with the fact that I didn't really understand too well how the dem- 
ocratic system works, and I was fair game. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, while a member of the radio group did you 
become acquainted with a person by the name of Mitchell Lindeman? 

Mr. Alland. Yes. I went to a meeting at his house once. 

Mr. Tavenner. A meeting of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Alland. Yes. He was not in my group, but there was a special 
meeting called at his house, and I recall it had to do with the fact 
that the membership was complaining quite a bit that decisions 
were being made, things were taking place, and no one was asking 
the membership a darned thing about it, and the meeting was to pla- 
cate the membership and assure them in the future, before decisions 
were made, they would perhaps be given an opportunity to discuss 
them. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you identified as a member of that group a 
person by the name of Bill Wolff? 

Mr. Alland. Oh, I didn't put him down. That is what I forgot. 
Bill Wolff. 






COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3527 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he known to you to be a member of this group ? 

Mr. Alland. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with Angela Clarke? 

Mr. Alland. Yes ; as a friend of Virginia Mullen. I do not recall 
being in meetings with her. I have to give that some thought. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, will you tell the committee, please, what the 
principal activity was of this group of the Communist Party organized 
within the radio field? 

Mr. Alland. Its principal activity was attempting to control the 
Radio Writers Guild. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee how it endeavored to 
exercise that control? 

Mr. Alland. Well, it tried to influence the membership and the 
board to take stands against the Un-American Activities Committee. 

Mr. Doyle. You mean against the Un-American Activities 
Committee ? 

Mr. Alland. Un-American Activities Committee. That is what 
I said. 

Mr. Doyle. I beg your pardon. 

Mr. Alland. They wanted the Radio Writers Guild to try to get 
the Screen Writers Guild to be more lenient in its actions and attitudes 
toward the Communist members in the Screen Writers Guild. They 
tried to get its members in any way possible to censure and block 
the work of the Un-American Activities Committee, certainly, and 
to in any way possible aid and support those people who had been 
exposed by the committee. Now, the opportunities for them to do 
this were not always present, but there was the constant job, and the 
radio writers group was watching for every possible time, any possible 
opportunity to so influence it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did it attempt to control the election of the officials 
of the Radio Writers' Guild ? 

Mr. Alland. Oh, certainly. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you recall members of your Communist Party 
group who actually became officials in the Radio Writers' Guild as a 
result of the activities of your group ? 

Mr. Alland. Well, Sam Moore was already an official when I went 
into the Radio Writers' group. Reuben Ship was an official, and there 
was one, I think, important election during the time I was in this 
group, and it was natually discussed who should be nominated, and so 
forth. And where they didn't feel that the Communists could get 
elected, that he wasn't popular enough or whatever it may be, then it 
would be decided that such and such a person was progressive or liberal 
and could be handled if he were elected — you know, sympathetic, so to 
speak, and so an attempt would be made to elect him. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you encouraged by members of the Communist 
Party to become active in mass organizations which we usually refer 
to as Communist-front organizations ? 

Mr. Alland. Yes ; we were encouraged, and I must say that I was 
always lax in this matter, and as I said before, in my own disturbance 
I never joined any of them, but I was always being urged to do so, 
and always promising that I would and I never got around to it. 

Mr. Tavenner. What particular mass organizations were the mem- 
bers of your group in the Communist Party urged to join ? 



3528 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Alland. It seems to me the key one was the Arts, Sciences, and 
Professions — is that it? Council of Arts, Sciences, and Professions. 
This was the key one. I think at that time this was the main target. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you engaged in any Communist Party activi- 
ties, or affiliated in any way with any activities since your withdrawal 
from the party, as you described ? 

Mr. Alland. No, sir. I must say this on the record, that I have seen 
some members since I have withdrawn, and I must say I even hired 
Virginia Mullen for a small part in a picture of mine, for 2 reasons — 
but I was sort of led to believe, I heard that she would, if she were 
called, be cooperative, and then she had 2 children and she was — how 
shall I put it — she appealed to my sympathy on that ground, that she 
needed the work. So I gave her a day's work. 

Mr. Doyle. How long ago, approximately ? 

Mr. Alland. I would say a year, a year and a half ago. 

Mr. Doyle. You said you understood from her that she was co- 
operative with the committee ? 

Mr. Alland. I understood from her that if she were subpenaed that 
she would be cooperative. 

Mr. Doyle. Virginia Mullen? 

Mr. Alland. She didn't even say this, but by inferences she led me 
to believe this, although, in all honesty, I have to say that she appealed 
to me on the basis of needing a job, and I, having known her and 
having known she had two kids, I did give her one. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Alland, you have made a very full statement as 
to your activities within the party, and your knowledge of what is 
going on, and the circumstances under which you left the party. 
Having taken the step to get out of the party, why is it that you did 
not at some subsequent date advise this committee or some other Gov- 
ernment agency of your knowledge of the Communist Party activities ? 

Mr. Alland. Well, sir, there were two reasons. I am not sure that 
they are justifiable. But I was perhaps the most concerned and 
reluctant to testify as to my relationships with my first wife, and as 
you can see, this could — as I hope you can see — it was very difficult 
for me, difficult for me in the sense that I have a young son by this 
first marriage. The second reason is perhaps even less legitimate and 
has to do with the human ego, because I think it is easier for a person 
to admit he is a thief than a fool, which I certainly was. I would like 
to thank this committee for giving me the opportunity to be of service 
to my country, and I hope the right to continue to be of service to it. 

Mr. Doyle. Are you through with that? 

Mr. Alland. I would also say, this question has been asked by this 
committee many times, and I have fought for my country as a combat 
pilot in World War II, and I will fight for my country at any time 
in the future, if necessary, and I am not interested in even knowing 
who that fight would be with. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where did you serve as a pilot in the Armed Forces 
of the United States ? 

Mr. Alland. I served in the Asiatic-Pacific theater. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a combat pilot ? 

Mr. Alland. Yes, sir. I flew 56 missions as a combat pilot. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you receive any special citations or recognition 
for your services as a pilot ? 

Mr. Alland. Yes, sir. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3529 

Mr. Tavenner. What were they? 

Mr. Alland. I was discharged as a first lieutenant, and at that time 
I had received the following : The Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon, the 
battle star for this ribbon ; the New Guinea campaign, a battle star to 
this ribbon. For the Philippine campaign, I received a Philippine 
Liberation Ribbon and one battle star. I received the Air Medal, and 
I received the Bronze Star Medal with the following citation : "1st 
Lt. William L. Alland, Air Corps, United States Army." 

Mr. Doyle. What number were you ? 

Mr. Alland. 0693724. 

For meritorious achievement in connection with military operation against 
the enemy in the Southwest Pacific area from the 1st of September 1944 to the 
8th of April 1945 ; although he was assigned as a bomber pilot, Lieutenant 
Alland voluntarily assumed the additional duty of special service officer and 
mess officer of his bombardment squadron. He edited and broadcast three news 
programs and lecture parties for the benefit of officers and enlisted men, and 
maintained a well-stocked post exchange. During one transfer of stations of 
the group he assumed the responsibility of building a new theater and providing 
films ; and at the new camp the squadron messhall personnel, under his super- 
vision maintained the highest standard of cleanliness ; and for duties beyond 
those regularly required of him, Lieutenant Alland contributed immeasurably 
to the morale of the members of his organization. Order of the Bronze Star, 
1258 Headquarters, Far East Air Force, 25th of June 1948. 

Mr. Doyle. Do you still maintain a Reserve commission ? 

Mr. Alland. No. When I was discharged they asked me about if 
I wanted to be in the Reserve, and I said "Yes." And they told me 
they would get in touch with me, and they never did. Subsequently 
I did some investigation and I found actually they considered me 
too old, and I was probably not taken for that reason. 

Mr. Doyle. I am sure we thank you, Mr. Alland, for cooperating 
this morning with us, and we are naturally counting on men like you 
that have awakened to the fact that you do have a duty to try to 
correct your mistakes, and help the country against the Communist 
conspiracy. We have depended very, very much on you men doing 
the fullest possible share of work, to not only make amends, but to 
get other people to do the same thing. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have another matter. 

Mr. Doyle. All right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, on what basis 
you paid dues or assessments to the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Alland. Well, the neighborhood branch, it was a flat weekly 
or monthly dues, based upon your earnings. And in my case I think 
it was $1 a month. 

In the radio branch it was — there was an additional attempt to 
collect funds on an assessment basis. I don't recall the exact per- 
centage. I do recall resisting very much. I do think I finally gave 
as high as $25 at a time on an assessment basis. 

Mr. Tavenner. You do not recall at this time the percentages of 
your salary or earnings which you were expected to pay. 

Mr. Alland. I cannot recall the exact percentages. I am sorry. I 
just don't remember. 

Mr. Tavenner. I think that is all, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Doyle. Have you any suggestions to this committee of any 
method or any ways and means by which we can receive the more 
prompt cooperation of the American citizens who have made the 



3530 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AKEA 

same mistake you have made, yet have never come forward volun- 
tarily to help clean it up? Does any step occur to you which we 
could take? How can we reach more of you people? Or is there 
anything we can do which would call forth a voluntary cooperation 
with the committee ? 

Mr. Alland. Perhaps I don't understand your question, correctly, 
Congressman. 

Mr. Doyle. Let me make this clear. You have answered Mr. 
Tavenner's question why you didn't — well, you, of course, were an 
acceptable exception — but, generally speaking, is there anything we 
could do as a committee — we announce over the radio, we put it in 
the newspapers and we put it in our reports. It is generally known, 
is it not, that we are ready to cooperate with you men or women 
who want to come forward voluntarily? That is understood, is it 
not, in your professional field ? 

Mr. Alland. Yes. In this regard I will say that the Communist 
Party has done a very effective propaganda job in frightening 
people away. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, how do they frighten them away? What do 
they do or say ? 

Mr. Alland. Well, they strike very hard at the prospect of eco- 
nomic distress. In this regard, I can think of worse things than 
having to look for another job, when it is a small price to pay for — 
if, let us say, the employment was affected, it is a small price to pay 
for being accepted back into your country, in effect. It is a small 
price to pay for the right to feel like you have a country. 

Mr. Doyle. The other method of the Communist Party, that they 
are using to try to keep present members or former members from 
cooperating with this committee or with the FBI, or any Government 
agency, is what ? 

Mr. Alland. The whole psychological field is, of course, on the basis 
that you are being an informer, a word which of course is a term which 
is a derogatory term. If one could somehow show them the difference 
between, in a sense, a paid professional informer, whether he is paid, 
which is a difference between a paid professional informer and an 
informer and an American citizen who, because of his own conscience, 
he is to come forward, he needs to come forward, and because in his 
mind he feels in this way he is helping his country. 

Mr. Doyle. Why didn't you plead the fifth amendment ? 

Mr. Alland. It is not the same thing. The Communists try to put 
the label "informer" on anyone who cooperates with this committee, 
and an American citizen coming before a duly constituted committee 
of Congress to give information is not an informer. 

Mr. Doyle. Now, help us to understand why you didn't plead the 
fifth amendment, That is what the Communist Party would have 
liked you to do; isn't it? 

Mr. Alland. Of course. 

Mr. Doyle. Why didn't you ? 

Mr. Alland. I didn't, because I feel it is necessary to aid this com- 
mittee in the job of protecting our country from the Communist 
Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was the subject discussed in any of your Communist 
Party meetings of what course of conduct should be followed in the 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3531 

event any Communist Party member should subsequently be called as 
a witness before the Committee on Un-American Activities ? 

Mr. Alland. Yes. This was standard procedure : If you were sub- 
penaed you should use the fifth amendment, of course. And, of 
course, there was always speculation on who you could depend on and 
who you couldn't. 

Mr. Doyle. Among the members ? 

Mr. Alland. That is correct. 

Mr. Doyle. Depend upon them to do what ? 

Mr. Alland. To use the fifth amendment and not cooperate, of 
course. 

Mr. Doyle. You say it was standard procedure. What do you mean 
by that? Do you mean it was frequently discussed at the frequent 
meetings ? 

Mr. Alland. Well, any time discussions of the Un-American Activ- 
ities took place. 

Mr. Doyle. Do you remember the televised meetings of the Un- 
American Activities Committee here in Los Angeles? 

Mr. Alland. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. That was several months ago. Was it discussed in the 
cell of which you were a member ? 

Mr. Alland. I wasn't in — you see— — 

Mr. Doyle. You were not then a member ? 

Mr. Alland. I have not been a member since 1949, sir, end of 1949. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did any discussion take place in your Communist 
Party meetings of what action or attitude should be taken toward 
those members of the Communist Party who testified before the com- 
mittee and divulged their former Communist Party membership ? 

Mr. Alland. Well, of course. You weren't ever to look at them 
again. Their names were an anathema. They were cursed and hated 
with a violence such as you can't imagine. 

Mr. Doyle. Was it discussed as to whether or not the Communist 
Party treasury would pay attorneys' fees to represent any witness 
before our committee ? 

Mr. Alland. No. But the Communist Party did try to get in- 
dividual members to solicit funds whenever and wherever they could, 
from any source possible, to give to their members for attorneys' fees. 

Mr. Doyle. For attorneys' fees for the reason that they were sub- 
penaed to appear before this committee ? 

Mr. Alland. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. For attorneys to be present with them before this com- 
mittee ? 

Mr. Alland. Yes. And for counsel prior to their appearance, 
between the time they were subpenaed and the time they appeared. 

Mr. Doyle. And were these funds solicited during or at or in con- 
nection with any Communist Party meeting which you attended, for 
instance? 

Mr. Alland. No, sir, because this was after my time, so to speak. 
But I do know because I was approached for funds. 

Mr. Doyle. While you were a Communist? 

Mr. Alland. No, afterward. 

Mr. Doyle. Even afterward? 

Mr. Alland. Oh, yes. I was approached — you know, Communists 
never say die, even when you leave. They are just not ready to believe 



3532 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

that they still don't have some appeal to you. And unless you prac- 
tically slam the door in their faces and say, "Look" — slam the door in 
their faces, they keep coming back. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you aware of any organized effort by the Com- 
munist Party to discredit the testimony of witnesses who have testi- 
fied before the Committee on Un-American Activities or other in- 
vestigative boards regarding their experiences in the Communist 
Party ? 

Mr. Allard. I recall a pamphlet in which the case of Mr. Dmytryk 3 
was discussed — his character, his untrustworthiness, even while he was 
in the party. The party now could see very clearly, and it was an 
attempt to prove that he was evil even when he was in the party. Yes, 
I have seen such a pamphlet. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you have any personal knowledge as to the 
identity of those who were responsible for that ? 

Mr. Alland. No, sir; I don't recall who wrote the pamphlet or what 
the name of the article was, or what was in it, even. 

Mr. Doyle. You mean it was put in print, attacking him after he 
testified before this committee ? 

Mr. Alland. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. Was not put in print or campaigned against him until 
after he appeared before the committee ; is that right ? 

Mr. Alland. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Doyle. Do you, Mr. Alland, have anything else you want to say ? 

Mr. Alland. I am sorry. You know, I was in about 2 years, and 
through my connection, I mean I had earlier connections with people 
for quite a while and there is a lot one can say. It is very difficult to 
sum it up. It is too serious and too important to be able to sum it up 
easily. But the testimony before this committee over a period of time 
must and does, and must and will have a tremendous effect on all of 
us, I am sure. 

Mr. Doyle. On behalf of the committee I want to invite you to 
continue helping us to protect our country against this Communist 
conspiracy. 

Mr. Alland. I certainly will, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. In that connection, Mr. Alland, may I cordially thank 
you for your cooperation with the committee in this testimony you 
have given us. 

Mr. Alland. Thank you, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. We certainly appreciate it. 

(Thereupon, at 12 : 30 p. m., the hearing was recessed, to reconvene 
at 2 p. m., same day.) 

afternoon session 

(At the hour of 2 : 15 p. m., of the same day, the proceedings were 
resumed, Representatives Donald L. Jackson and Clyde Doyle being 
present.) 

Mr. Jackson. The subcommittee will be in order. 

Mr. Tavenner, have you a witness ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Milton Merlin, will you come forward. 

3 Edward Dmytryk refused to answer questions before the committee in 19»47, for this 
■was cited, convicted, and served a jail sentence under contempt of Congress. On April 25, 
1951, however, he again was a witness before the committee, at which time he gave com- 
prehensive testimony regarding the Communist conspiracy and his part in it. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3533 

Mr. Jackson. Do you solemnly swear the testimony you are about 
to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, 
so help you God ? 

Mr. Merlin. I do. 

Mr. Jackson. Are you represented by counsel ? 

Mr. Merlin. No, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you desire counsel ? 

Mr. Merlin. No, sir. 

TESTIMONY OF MILTON MERLIN 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state your full name, please ? 

Mr. Merlin. Milton Merlin is the name, but I want to explain that 
that is the name that I have gone by privately and publicly since I 
graduated from college. My legal name is Milton Sheppard Harrison. 
I only used my real name like that I think for my first marriage. In 
the school I used the name of my stepfather, Zuckerman. I was never 
legally adopted by him, and when I left for college I used the name 
Merlin. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born ? 

Mr. Merlin. Los Angeles, March 12, 1905. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you appear here pursuant to a subpena ? 

Mr. Merlin. No. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you appear here voluntarily ? 

Mr. Merlin. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your present residence ? 

Mr. Merlin. 445 North Croft Avenue, Los Angeles 48. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your occupation? 

Mr. Merlin. Writer, director, at the present time. It has been in 
recent years radio and television ; formerly film, formerly newspapers, 
publicity. I have been writing all my life, professional life. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, what your 
formal educational training has consisted of ? 

Mr. Merlin. High school in Los Angeles, the first 2 years of col- 
lege at what is now called UCLA; at the time it was the southern 
branch. Then I went to Berkeley and was graduated in 1925 cum 
laude. I majored in philology, and my side major was aesthetics. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long have you been engaged in your pro- 
fession ? 

Mr. Merlin. Well, when I was 15, when I was still in high school, 
I was once a press agent for the Orpheum. I did sports and other 
lines, sports work at the time, so actually it dates long before I was 
graduated. But from the time I left college, when I came back I got 
jobs on newspapers, as a matter of fact, the Santa Monica Outlook. 
And I have worked on magazines and on trade papers, and press 
agent. So I would say from my graduation on I have off and on been 
a free-lance writer, magazines, stories, books. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you please describe for the committee a little 
more in detail what your career has been as a writer ? 

Mr. Merlin. You mean specifically what I have done as a writer ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Merlin. Well, beginning with — I suppose the entertainment 
industry is the most important, or did you want to go back beyond 
that? 



3534 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Tavenner. No. When did your work in the entertainment 
field begin? 

Mr. Merlin. Well, work in the entertainment industry, that started 
in 1934 at Paramount. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you begin with that period ? 

Mr. Merlin. At Paramount — I went to Paramount — I am rather 
hazy on the exact dates. As I remember, it was 1934 to 1937, 1 think. 
I worked at Paramount mostly on the story board, what was then 
called the story board. I was assistant at different times to Ernst 
Lubitsch in a story capacity. 

I went from Paramount to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1937 as assist- 
ant to Harry Rapf. I remained his assistant during the time I was 
at Metro, and transferred from being assistant producer actually to 
being a writer, because I was doing a good deal of writing and I got 
the credits. And I remained there as writer at Metro until 1939 
or 1940, when I left Metro. 

As I recall it, I did some free-lance work — I don't have the date 
set down, but I entered radio approximately in 1940. I did one or 
two pictures in the time I was in radio, that is, I did jobs at Columbia, 
RKO. I collaborated on one screenplay with Alan Mowbray at 
Monogram. But I should say from 1940 on my professional activities 
were pretty well confined to radio. 

I started in on the Old Gold program, the show with Don Ameche 
years ago. The first show I contributed to regularly was Big Town. 
Later on I was the one who wrote for the Ginny Simms Show, Every- 
thing for the Boys, which was the show starring Ronald Colman. 
For about 3 years I was the main one. 

I did Boston Blackie with Chester Morris for what I call the cycle 
of a year or two. I did Mr. President with Edward Arnold. I con- 
tributed first to this Hollywood Hotel Soldier Show, that it was a 
Camay show. I contributed to the Charles Boyer Show for about 2 
years. And I did a collaboration on the script for Halls of Ivy. The 
Halls of Ivy was a show starring Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Colman. Dur- 
ing the last 7 or 8 months that it was on, I also directed Halls of Ivy. 

I also contributed scripts for the theater, which I don't remember, 
and I wrote in between many scripts for service shows. 

That is the professional activities since 1934. 

Prior to that time I had some connection with the industry in the 
sense of being a critic on a paper, and I continued that for some time, 
writing on some of the cultural activities in southern California for 
what was then called Daily Topics, published by the theater guild. 
My actual involvement in the industry dates from 1934 on. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are no doubt aware as a writer of the investiga- 
tion that this committee has been conducting in the field of entertain- 
ment in Hollywood, with special emphasis upon the moving-picture 
field and the field of radio. 

The committee desires to know what knowledge, if any, you have 
regarding Communist Party activities in those fields. If you have any 
knowledge of Communist Party activities in those fields, we would 
be glad to hear from you. 

Mr. Merlin. Well, my knowledge is based upon personal opinion 
and speculation and intuition. If you mean if I — I am not able to 
testify as to the affiliation of people in the industry. I can speak of 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3535 

my own experiences, as personal opinion, personal interpretation, es- 
pecially about the radio artists' guild, in which I was active as an 
officer, the screen writers' guild. I know what you know, much less 
than what you know. I mean I have been aware of the problem of 
the guild, and certainly I followed that with a good deal of interest. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me ask you this question : Have you at any time 
been affiliated with the Communist Party movement yourself, and 
thus been in a position to speak of your own knowledge regarding 
Communist Party activities ? 

Mr. Merlin. No, sir, I have never been a member of the Communist 
Party, and so far as I know, I have never been a member, and this is 
a problem that has come day to day to me as to what is termed the 
caucus at guild meetings, when Communist policy is determined. I 
have not, to my knowledge, been involved. I certainly have been, in 
the past, as I recall, at meetings with many of these people that have 
been named, that have appeared before your committee and have been 
hostile witnesses and some friendly witnesses, where they were present 
at those meetings that I attended. 

I was certainly not aware that they were called Communist fraction 
meetings or caucuses, so that whatever information I can impart is 
from an independent point of view of being involved in activities 
that have since been described as being part of the club activity or 
guild activity which was influenced in any way by outside forces. 

Mr. Tavenner. What position did you hold in the radio writers' 
guild, that is, over what period of time ? 

Mr. Merlin. Well, I was a member of the council, and I have to 
check the dates on this, too, from 1945 on. I was vice president in 
1946 and again in 1949 and 1950. I was national president in 1951 
and 1952, that is really 1952, the election was, so I was an officer of the 
guild during those years. I was not a charter member of the guild. 
I came in after it was formed, but during the period when it was in- 
volved in contract negotiations I served on the committee, negotiating 
committee. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee has received considerable evidence 
regarding the purposes of the Communist Party through its members 
in the radio writers' guild to influence the action of the guild and elect 
as officers of the guild members of the Communist Party. 

As an official of the guild during the period which you have men- 
tioned, did you have any knowledge of this effort on the part of the 
Communist Party ? 

Mr. Merlin. I certainly had no knowledge, no concrete knowledge. 
I would not deny that I had certain what I call suspicions or opinions 
about the political nature of the attachment of some members of the 
guild, and quite fairly, so far as I know — this is from my position — 
I have found out since, I mean, talking with others who were members 
of the radio writers' guild itself, have told me some of the things that 
they talked about considerably. But from my position from the 
outset it seemed to me that the guild was able to maintain a nonpoliti- 
cal position within the guild, as well as any union, and that is part, as 
you know, of the Authors' League of America regulation, that all 
activities of its affiliated guilds be nonpolitical. 

So we did not during those years until very recently, there was no 
great deviation of opinion on guild policy within the guild. We 



3536 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

didn't go through the same pattern of violence of convictions that the 
screen writers' guild did. Inasmuch as I was a member of the screen 
writers' guild at the time, as I remember, there was unanimity in the 
screen writers' guild during the period up to 1950 or 1952, because the 
forces of the guild were employed in getting contracts, working with 
the directors and the committee from the first in getting contracts 
with producers and packagers. 

The first time there was any awareness, so far as I know, of a, let 
us say, anti-Communist faction in the guild came in 1950. In the 
eastern region there was a group called We the Undersigned, which 
came out with an anti-Communist platform in a guild election, which 
was directed against the eastern officers, eastern election slate. 

Still in the western region there was no political issue. There was, 
I should say, no guild awareness of the fact that there were Com- 
munists in the guild until your public hearings out here, when we 
were aware that you called several witnesses from the radio artists' 
guild to testify, and they refused to testify, and at that time it was 
established that there was a Communist cell in the radio writers' guild, 
and there was some electioneering and some activity on the part of 
the guild itself to combat this, but until that time we didn't have, let 
us say, divisions within the guild forces. 

Mr. Doyle. I would like to have you identify the date. You just 
said "until that time." 

Mr. Merlin. Was it the last time when you called members of the 
radio artists' guild? 

Mr. Jackson. Last March. 

Mr. Merlin. Last March you called several members of the radio 
writers' guild. 

Mr. Doyle. You mean March 1953 ? 

Mr. Merlin. Was it 1953? 1952. 

Mr. Jackson. March 1953. 

Were you ever solicited by any person or persons to become a mem- 
ber of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Merlin. No. In this I am again particularly considering my 
history, but I am sure you will want to bear with me, but later in 
connection with organizations which have been stated as front organ- 
izations — it is a long history, but I think it has a significant element 
that ties the question to myself over a period of years, and in recent 
years I have satisfied myself with an answer at one time. If you 
confine it to being approached, I suppose I would have felt sensitive 
to that. 

Mr. Jackson. Did any person or persons who may have identified 
themselves to you as members of the Communist Party, to the best 
of your knowledge, take part in any such action as you have been 
discussing when you had knowledge of the fact that such person was 
actually a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Merlin. That is right. The men who talked to me personally 
I didn't know. While I may have assumed that they were, I didn't 
ask them and they didn't volunteer any information, and I must say 
I was surprised at some of the people who were revealed, because I 
regarded those people frankly as people like myself, who were 
interested in the same things. 

Mr. Jackson. Did you ever find yourself in a group meeting where 
those in attendance impressed you as being, if not actually members 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3537 

of the Communist Party, at least as being in favor of and dedicated 
to the furtherance of Communist policy or Soviet policy ? 

Mr. Merlin. That is a difficult question to answer. I don't remem- 
ber any such meeting within the confines of the entertainment industry 
itself. I remember being, and it is very vague in my mind, many 
years ago in meetings that were so-called radical meetings, where 
we were talking about Marxism, on which there was a lot of talk, 
but that is really past history, and they are not in the years that I 
consider pertinent to the problem in Hollywood, the years when there 
obviously was a great growth of the Communist Party membership. 
But, of course, during my long history men did invite me to meetings. 
That is, I was not alarmed at it. But I must say that is during the 
period that I was aware that there was a great surge to the left wing. 
But I must say I didn't know too much about it until the thirties and 
forties. 

Mr. Jackson. There were a lot of Communists around. 

Mr. Merlin. A lot of Communists around, but I think people didn't 
bother themselves about it. 

Mr. Jackson. Your testimony is then, Mr. Merlin, that you were 
never a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Merlin. That is right. 

Mr. Jackson. And that you were never solicited by any person to 
become a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Merlin. That is right. 

Mr. Jackson. And that at no time did you attend a closed meeting 
of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Merlin. That is right. To my knowledge it was not a closed 
meeting, that I was aware that it was a closed meeting, I will put it 
that way. I mean if the people didn't identify themselves whom I 
met at a meeting. 

Mr. Jackson. Well, it is very unlikely that you would have been, 
if you were not known to be a member of the Communist Party, that 
you have been in any case at a closed meeting of the Communist Party. 
I don't recall of any incident of anybody testifying that anybody not 
a member was in a closed meeting of the Communist Party. That 
is subject to correction, but I don't recall. 

Mr. Tavenner. I think there are a few instances, Mr. Chairman, 
where it was understood that 1 or 2 individuals would be invited to 
such a meeting to see for themselves how the business of the meeting 
was conducted. 

Mr. Jackson. There may have been such instances. 

Mr. Tavenner. It was not the accepted practice. 

Mr. Merlin. They were forewarned, in other words. On the sub- 
ject of recruiting, I wonder if I could bring out this point, that Silvia 
Richards, who appeared as a friendly witness before this committee, 
discussed that matter where she thought she remembered seeing my 
name on a paper at a routine recruiting session of the cell of which 
she was a member at that time in the radio writers' guild, my name 
as one of the names, along with others, was brought out for somebody 
to work on, and these are her words. 

I testify that, in fact, if they worked upon me for that purpose, I 
was not aware of it. She also has the memory that apparently some- 
body said that he would work on me, and mentioned the fact that that 



3538 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

was a tough problem or ticklish problem, or whatever that meant, and 
she pointed out whenever an individual's name was mentioned it was 
very natural — it was abnormal, as a matter of fact, if they didn't have 
some background information ; in other words, if I had ever been a 
member of the Communist Party or had some connection with it, they 
would have been after that history before they worked on me. I don't 
know what that amounts to, but it seems to me coming from one who 
was apparently a member of the party, it was of significance to me, 
because I didn't know that I was discussed. 

Mr. Jackson. Who was assigned ? 

Mr. Merlin. I asked Silvia, and she couldn't remember. She 
thinks — again, this is of significance — she thinks it was probably Sam 
Moore. Well, I know Sam Moore's history. Mr. Moore never ap- 
proached me, never solicited me, and I worked very closely with him 
on the same committee that he was on. 

Mr. Jackson. Did you ever discuss your membership with any indi- 
vidual ? 

Mr. Merlin. Yes. I don't know whether you would call me a mem- 
ber or not. I directed 2 plays, 2 plays and 1 program for them in 
1932 or 1933. Do you want to know the circumstances as I remember 
them? 

Mr. Jackson. Yes, I do, but let me ask you this : Were you a mem- 
ber of the John Reed Club? 

Mr. Merlin. Well, I don't know what membership meant. I can't 
remember being a member. I must have been a member if I was a 
director of the play. 

Mr. Jackson. What was the extent of your affiliation or connection 
with the John Reed Club? 

Mr. Merlin. All I remember about the John Reed Club was that 
there was a lot of discussion. It would be extremely dim. I was ex- 
tremely active in those days when I was not doing a regular play. 

Mr. Jackson. When did that occur ? 

Mr. Merlin. The dates? 

Mr. Jackson. Yes. 

Mr. Merlin. We put those on, we took over a little church in Holly- 
wood and I think it was on for 2 nights and there were 2 plays, one of 
which was a segment of a play in later Paramount shows here in Los 
Angeles at the old Orange Grove Theater. 

My connection with the John Reed Club at that time was as director, 
but I must again say I was excited about the project of an experimental 
radical theater, we called it. I think this was the group that in New 
York favored such plays as Waiting for Lefty, which as you remember, 
was terribly exciting theatrically. In fact, I was all this time active in 
Santa Monica, in the Santa Monica Bay Musical Association, and also 
with plays that they put on, and publicity work, and I was around 
that. 

Incidentally, the John Reed Club itself at the time had practically 
no connection with Hollywood as such. 

Mr. Jackson. Who would you say were the moving factors in the 
John Reed Club at that time ? 

Mr. Merlin. The only person I can remember, outside of the actors, 
there were a couple of actors in the play, one who is fairly well known 
as an actor in the movies, and another one that you know. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3539 

Mr. Jackson. We will go off the record. 

(Discussion off the record.) 

Mr. Jackson. Back on the record, please. 

Mr. Merlin. I have no memory of the administrative aspect. It 
was a pretty clubby kind of thing, in my mind, as I remember it. I got 
into it attending a session on poetry with some friends of mine, and all 
I remember is talking about poetry and meeting some poets. And then 
I remember directing the play for the John Reed Club. Probably 
there was some talk about Marxism and revolutionary movement and 
that sort of thing, but it just seemed very dusty in those days. 

Mr. Doyle. Meaning by that what revolutionary movement? 

Mr. Merlin. That was a general term, so far as I remember it, for 
practically anything that had changed, because we were discussing 
it in connection with surrealists in France and in connection with 
artists and poets, something which had to do with changes in litera- 
ture and in music, but it also referred to the changes in the world, 
because at that time is when the Soviet Union had not been recognized 
and there was a great deal of comment about it. I think they talked 
about Marxist theories ; I know I did, I talked about that and I read a 
great deal about it. 

Mr. Doyle. When you say you did a great deal of talking about 
it, under what circumstances? 

Mr. Merlin. I mean, maybe I would be talking with other people 
about it. I don't mean I agreed with it or I accepted it, but it was one 
subject of discussion. 

Mr. Doyle. Where? 

Mr. Merlin. Discussion with people with whom I talked about it. 

Mr. Doyle. I know, but from where did that talk about a revolution 
head? 

Mr. Merlin. I am sorry, Congressman. I think I used the word 
"revolutionary" in a generic sense rather than in the sense of a revolu- 
tionary movement, in the special sense. 

Mr. Doyle. I know, but the Marxist theory of revolution in a politi- 
cal sense, you said there was a great deal of talk about the revolution. 
I was wondering where that headed from, if the members were talking 
about it, it spearheaded some place. 

Mr. Merlin. I don't recall their talking about a revolution. They 
were talking about the revolutionary movement in art and literature 
and that sort of thing. 

Mr. Doyle. You made mention of Marxist theory. 

Mr. Merlin. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. That was political ? 

Mr. Merlin. That was political. 

Mr. Doyle. Where did it come from ? 

Mr. Merlin. As a matter of fact, at the time I would not have been 
concerned about where that came from, because it didn't occur to me 
at that time this was anything sinister. 

This was something, incidentally, I think is worth interest to the 
committee : At the time I went to college, this was never in the curricu- 
lum. 

Mr. Doyle. What? 

Mr. Merlin. Marx was never mentioned. I mean I went through 
philosophy and was a trained college graduate, and I hadn't even 
heard the name of this man come to my attention. That is partly one 



3540 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

of the reasons that I became interested in it. I have another personal 
reason, an intellectual reason : 

I, having had a good deal of philosophy, was interested in later years 
in one of the philosophers called Hegel. That is pertinent, might be 
of genuine interest to this committee. The philosophy was a rather 
elaborate philosophic system called idealistic dialectics. I heard that 
Marx had turned this upside down and made it dialectic materialism, 
and I read him with a good deal of interest, of course, and particu- 
larly his philosophy, to know what it was, because it was my opinion 
then and still is that Marx cannot be regarded as a philosopher, and 
my opinion of him as an economist is very small. There is no prin- 
ciple that bears any relation to reality. 

That is the kind of discussion actually that I remember being en- 
gaged in. I remember when people would quote Marx to me as gospel 
truth it would appall me, because this was the kind of thing that was 
pretty far from my immediate interest, because my interest was in the 
discussion of the things I was interested in. 

Mr. Doyle. Because of your interest in such things, did you find 
yourself at any time a member of a group or involved in a group that 
was later identified as a Communist front? You understand my 
question ? 

Mr. Merlin. Well, you understand I was certainly later identified 
with organizations which have been identified. 

Mr. Doyle. What organizations? 

Mr. Merlin. Well, the [Hollywood] Anti-Nazi League, the Holly- 
wood Writers' Mobilization. However, I want to point out I don't 
find any continuity outside of myself. Other than that, I don't think 
any of those things sprung out of the John Reed Club, because I don't 
remember any of those people I knew in the John Reed Club. 

Mr. Doyle. You understand my question. I don't know where 
they sprung from, but because of your interest in philosophy which 
you have related, and the revolutionary movement in the arts and 
literature, or for any other reason, did you at any time find yourself at 
a later date as having been a member, or find yourself a member of 
any organization which was later found to be a Communist front? 

Mr. Merlin. Well, it was partly for interest and partly, I think 
more importantly an interest in the causes that those organizations 
represented. 

Mr. Doyle. It seems that I don't make my question clear to you. 
Did you, because of any interest you had, whatever that interest was, 
find yourself at any time a member of a group which either at that 
time or later was found to be a part of the Communist front ? 

Mr. Merlin. As I understand your question, I must have been, yes. 

Mr. Doyle. What group ? 

Mr. Merlin. The [Hollywood] Anti-Nazi League and the [Holly- 
wood Writers'] Mobilization. 

Mr. Doyle. That is the Hollywood Writers' Mobilization? 

Mr. Merlin. The Hollywood Writers' Mobilization. I think any 
writer of Hollywood, if he was going to contribute to the war effort, 
would have to be a member of this, according to the record, and I still 
think it did a fine job, and the [Hollywood] Anti-Nazi League, I 
think is not comparable, however, because my affiliation with the 
League of American Writers is in another capacity. It was not, as 
I remember, being active in this. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3541 

Mr. Doyle. Were you a member of the Council of Arts and 
Sciences ? 

Mr. Merlin. Not that I remember. If I ever became a member of it, 
it was insignificant, one of your dollar memberships. 

Mr. Doyle. I know you wanted to ask him something. 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. Weren't you instructing at a school that was 
sponsored by the League of American Writers ? 

Mr. Merlin. Yes, I was. I think this was 1943. I followed, I 
think, Orson Welles. I forget who it was before me. I taught radio 
writing. 

Mr. Tavenner. You were beginning to describe your work as in- 
structor at the radio school conducted by the League of American 
Writers ? 

Mr. Merlin. Yes. This was a class, so far as I could estimate it, 
of some who had done a little writing and who were interested in 
radio. The class was operated as a workshop, devoted to radio scripts 
for the war effort, and scripts for the Los Angeles fire department, 
defense, merchant marine. Some of these people were professional 
writers. I have no particular memory of the organization. I know 
it was identified as a Communist front. 

I must testify that there was never any pressure on me as to what 
my instruction would be, what the content was, from any outside 
source. I cannot remember anybody connected with this school, be- 
cause my relationship to the people there was a personal one, and I 
don't remember being a member of the organization. If I was, I 
don't remember its activities. 

Mr. Tavenner. You told me in a general way you were familiar 
with the testimony before the committee to the effect that the Writers' 
Congress held in October 1943 at the University of California was 
sponsored by members of the Communist Party through the Holly- 
wood Writers' Mobilization? 

Mr. Merlin. I read a good deal about it, and I am familiar with 
certain aspects of this congress. As a matter of fact, I think I was 
on some of the committees when it was started, because I had been in 
a course at UCLA, a year or so before, and this was to be a gigantic 
project. 

I went to New York for the Signal Corps. I was an expert con- 
sultant, which means a screen producer there. I was associated, but 
I was in civilian capacity. I went to New York for a period of 3 
or 4 months during the period when the groundwork, actually, of 
the congress was done. When I returned, I forgot how long it was 
before the congress actually started, but I became a member of the 
committees preparing for it, and I remember being concerned because 
in the Writers' Congress there was not a single paper on the novel 
or poetry, so they assigned them to me originally, because my interest 
was in pictures. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me ask you this question : You are also famil- 
iar with the testimony, are you not, that the speakers who took part 
in this Writers' Congress were very largely selected by a committee 
of Communist Party members? 

Mr. Merlin. No, I am not aware of that; I can only speak of my 
own experience on 1 or 2 of the committees where I was not aware 
of any outside complexion of speakers. As a matter of fact, the only 
committee I was most active in, where I presented my own paper, had 



3542 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Carleton Morse, who writes One Man's Family, and Ann Wolff, who 
was then with him. I can't remember anybody else. 

This was really a panel committee preparing for the particular 
subject, which was, I think, the home front, whatever it was, what 
the civilian was doing for the war effort. I was not aware in my 
activity on this committee of any instruction from outside as to con- 
tent or policy or what not. I can only speak from my own experience. 
There is no question about the testimony which has been given, that 
a large number of the people on the committee of which I was a mem- 
ber were apparently members of the Comunist Party. You don't 
have to have large numbers that bear great influence. One member 
on a committee, as we found out, often can have tremendous influence. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you at any time sign a Communist Party elec- 
tion petition? 

Mr. Merlin. I don't recall any. The only petition that has been 
recalled in my mind, although I do not remember it, but I am told 
that I signed it, was in 1932, when I apparently signed a petition to 
put the Communist Party on the ballot. 

Now, I cannot remember the circumstances of signing it. All I can 
say is that if I did, if I signed it with any idea that this was incrim- 
inating or that I was in sympathy, blanket sympathy with the purposes 
of the Communist Party, I must plead guilty, and plead guilty on 
the ground of insanity. Certainly if this problem would be presented 
today I would have to — well, theoretically I would consider it, but 
practically I know I would not sign it, but theoretically I would prob- 
ably debate with myself whether it is better to have the Communist 
Party on the ballot. My opinion is, based on my own experience, I 
would much rather have them identified than to have to dig down 
for them, because it is hard enough even when they are exposed, to 
identify anybody as a Communist. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Merlin, do I understand you to say, in the light 
of what is happening in contemporary history, that the Communist 
Party is in any sense a political party ? 

Mr. Merlin. Well, if we were to sit down and talk about it at some 
length, I probably would agree with you today, theoretically. I would 
say, however, practically to me it is like the term "freedom," Con- 
gressman, where it says freedom, not license. I mean there is license 
and there is freedom. 

Mr. Jackson. Of course, license is never the case in the Communist 
Party. The Communist principle seems to be to follow blindly the 
directives transmitted by a foreign power. In the general Communist 
political policy, now, that is what is called the practical policy. 

Mr. Merlin. We probably agree with each other. 

Mr. Jackson. What I wanted to inquire about is your present 
feeling, with special emphasis on what is in our understanding the 
Communist Party of the United States and your present impression 
of what its activities consist, whether they consist of the activities 
of a political party such as we are used to, or whether it is in fact 
nothing but an international conspiracy which seeks to overthrow 
all constitutional forms of government. 

Mr. Merlin. Well, I am sure I agree. I will say this, it would prob- 
ably be simpler all the way around if there could be a clear definition in 
everybody's mind what the Communist Party or membership in the 
Communist Party means. If it were established, I mean legally estab- 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EN" THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3543 

lislied, that membership in it would be conspiracy against the Gov- 
ernment, I think it would probably disabuse a lot of people's minds 
that still are tempted by a lot of slogans. 

However, there is the other problem which I think is a tremendous 
one, that if it is driven underground completely, how does anybody 
have knowledge of what kind of subterfuge is being used, or what kind 
of dummy organizations? There are still an awful lot of people who 
may be interested in something that is, for the want of another word, 
we will call a progressive party that has stated political purposes that 
are sometimes not openly subversive. In what way can they detect 
that it is being influenced by the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Jackson. Of course, that is a difficult question, the right of any 
legitimate political party. For instance, the Socialist Party in the 
United States, I disagree with it wholeheartedly, but I still respect 
the right. It is not engaged in conspiratorial activities. It asks the 
voters to vote for its candidates and makes speeches for them, and 
the legitimate nature of the Socialist Party is beyond question. I 
don't think anyone would accuse Norman Thomas of being anything 
but a loyal American citizen. 

However, I don't think those circumstances and conditions obtain 
in the things done or the program and plan advocated by the Com- 
munist Party. 

Mr. Merlin. Well, we will cut it short and say that my signing of 
the petition in 1932 bears no kind of relation to my signing it today. 
When I look back at my private history, I think I can find a basis in 
my mind to give the rest of the country an opportunity to express 
their thought about it. I don't even have to apologize for it, but this 
does not mean I would sign it today. I would not sign it today. 

Mr. Tavenner. My recollection of your testimony is that you were 
somewhat uncertain about your possible connection with the Arts, 
Sciences and Professions Council of Hollywood. 

Mr. Merlin. Yes. Well, it has been pointed out to me that I prob- 
ably in 1949 did something that was sponsored by them. Fortunately, 
when it was pointed out to me I found the notes that I kept on file of 
my lecture, because it was on the subject of television and the radio 
writer, and the notes are as I remember it, and I remember it fairly 
well, since 1949. It was a completely academic discussion of a very 
important matter to the actor and producer. As I now remember, 
the discussion was confined to the transition of radio techniques upon 
the conversion of radio to television. 

It has been contended here that the A. S. P. grew out of another 
organization. 

Mr. Doyle. Were you a member of the independent committee for 
the Arts, Sciences and Professions Institute ? 

Mr. Merlin. Yes. I am glad I brought that with me. If I was a 
member I was a dollar member, giving up time for it. I don't remem- 
ber being active in the organization, and at the end of the war I am 
sure I was not a member. I have made the statement several times, 
and I would like to repeat it, that I was not actively a member of a 
front organization after they were designated so by the Attorney Gen- 
eral. Now, I may be mistaken. There may be an overlapping of 
dates, but to my knowledge I was not. I disengaged myself, in other 
words, when they were so identified. 



3544 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Now, my appearance at this institute, as I say, was a routine one. 
I have made many such appearances, talking about television. In 
fact, I have been on the committee concerning television since 1944, 
at the time I appeared in 1946 or 1947, so that is absolutely correct. 
I also was invited to what was called a thought-control conference 
held at the Beverly Hills Hotel, to study thought policing, to answer 
what is your experience in thought control, what has been your experi- 
ence with the Los Angeles Times. I have reviewed pictures for the 
Los Angeles Times since 1933, 20 years. 

Well, I told them, "I will be glad to speak to you about my knowl- 
edge about thought control." Well, I told the group in 2 minutes I 
didn't know what they considered thought control, that there had 
never been any pressure, nobody told me what to write, so I didn't 
have any difficulties with the gentlemen of the Los Angeles Times 
and was free at all times to give an honest opinion. 

Those are the only occasions I can remember where I appeared. I 
did appear in 1945 at UCLA at a meeting which was under the auspices 
of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, when the leader of the Phi Beta Kappa 
called me, and I said, "Why did you ask me to come?" And they said 
they didn't know anybody else that could give them the facts. I know 
it has been mentioned also, and I was there. 

Mr. Doyle. Were you a delegate to the National Labor Conference 
for Peace held in Chicago in September 1949 ? 

Mr. Merlin. No, I don't remember being in Chicago but one time — 
the only time I have been in Chicago has been between trains, maybe 
4 or 5 times. The only time I stayed more than half a day in Chicago 
was this last October. 

Mr. Jackson. Your answer is "No" ; that you were not a delegate to 
that? 

Mr. Merlin. I don't remember it at all. I don't know how I could 
have been, because I have not been in Chicago more than a half day 
except this last October. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, you might have been chosen a delegate without 
going. 

Mr. Merlin. If I was chosen as a delegate, I was not aware of it, 
and I have no memory of it. Please understand, if I had been, I 
would be quite willing to testify. 

Mr. Tavenner. There has been considerable evidence received by 
the committee identifying members of the Radio Writers' Guild who 
were members of the Communist Party and active in the work of 
the Radio Writers' Guild. I want to review some of those names 
with you, and ask you whether or not any of those persons endeavored 
at any time to influence you in matters relating to guild work. Sam 
Moore ? 

Mr. Merlin. Well, again I preface this by saying that during that 
time all the names that you mentioned might have endeavored to con- 
vince me of their point of view on guild policy. I would either agree 
or oppose it, but it was not on the basis of a political point of view. 
For instance, about Sam Moore, I worked on committees with him. 
I was national president and vice president, and worked with him on 
the guild negotiation of the contract. I worked with him then and 
I also disagreed with him very violently. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3545 

You mentioned Mr. Moore as being a Communist, and he certainly 
did speak very favorably about it, but in hindsight now I can find 
patterns appear that his interest — that it might have been an en- 
deavor. In my looking back — I have been objective about this thing, 
now — I can look back and it seems to me I can see patterns which I 
didn't see while we were engaged in it, but I can assure you I was 
fairly vigilant, particularly when I was national president, and very 
sensitive to this problem. I also, when I was not sure at any time, 
talked to my predecessors, and those who were the officers, about it. 
My people tell me that he gave us a fine job, as anybody can see. 

Mr. Tavenner. Owen Vinson. 

Mr. Merlin. I think I may have met the gentleman and been intro- 
duced to him once. The name is familiar. In fact, he was the former 
husband of Pauline Hopkins. 

Mr. Tavenner. Jack Kobinson ? 

Mr. Merlin. I have known Jack Eobinson as a member of the 
council for a number of years. He has certainly never brought undue 
influence to bear on me in any open fashion at all, just as another 
member of the council. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mary Robinson, his wife ? 

Mr. Merlin. I know her only as the wife of Jack Robinson. I don't 
think she was ever active in the guild councils, maybe a member of the 
guild. I don't recall her having been active in the guild. 

Mr. Tavenner. William Alland ? 

Mr. Merlin. I don't know him. Is he a radio writer, William 
Alland? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Merlin. I don't know him. 

Mr. Tavenner. Virginia Mullen ? 

Mr. Merlin. Virginia Mullen ? Never heard of her. 

Mr. Tavenner. Reuben Ship? 

Mr. Merlin. Reuben Ship I know quite well as a member of the 
council of the guild, and he was what I would call a revolutionary 
member of the council. I have been in conflict on guild policy with 
him on many points. But, again, to distinguish between a position on 
guild policy and something which comes out of an outside instruction 
on policy is very difficult for me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Michael Davidson? 

Mr. Merlin. Michael Davidson was secretary of the guild. 

Mr. Tavenner. At the time that you were vice president ? 

Mr. Merlin. Yes, and national president too. And he was a very 
efficient secretary, as a matter of fact. I know that he has been sus- 
pected of being a Communist or at least sympathetic to the Communists 
for a long time. I know as much about him as you do. Probably you 
know more than I do. I know that I have had tremendous differences 
of opinion with Davidson on guild policy, and I will say this, in my 
capacity as an officer of the guild, when I put on pressure he would 
bow to my priority as an officer and he was a hired man. What his 
activities were outside of the guild I can't testify, because he never told 
me, but he had tremendous interest in the guild. 

Mr. Tavenner. Gene Stone? 

Mr. Merlin. Gene Stone was a member of the council for some time, 
and I think was treasurer of the guild. 



3546 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Tavenner. Pauline Hopkins? 

Mr. Merlin. Pauline Hopkins was a member of the council for many 
years, and formerly, I understand, was vice president of the guild in 
Chicago. She came from Chicago. 

Mr. Tavenner. You were aware, were you not, of the organized 
effort on the part of those persons whose names I have mentioned to 
support men for the positions that they occupied in the guild ? 

Mr. Merlin. No, sir, I was not. Mr. Wheeler asked me if the nomi- 
nating committee had such members, and so far as I can determine, 
there was only one on all those nominating committees that have been 
under question by this committee. The rest are people that, so far as 
I know, have not been under question, and I will say this: 

When I ran for national office in 1951, it was the end of 1951 prior 
to my predecessor being opposed by "We the Undersigned" in New 
York, they didn't oppose me. This was an anti-Communist group in 
New York. So I was not opposed by the anti-Communist group, and 
there was no request to withdraw that certainly I was aware of. I am 
sure that they would be supporting me today. 

But, you see, the guild elections, once the nomination has been made, 
have been pretty unanimous. I would say there have not been any 
great divisions of opinion by the officers of the guild, so far as I have 
been able to determine. The nominations were pretty well determined 
by the wishes of the members to put in people who could be experienced 
in negotiating contracts and committee work. There have been groups 
in the guild who said "We want this man or that man," but there were 
no divided election lists named, and there was no electioneering the 
way there was in the Screen Writers' Guild in two instances in the 
eastern region. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall whether any of the persons whose 
names I have mentioned opposed you for election to local office in 
the guild? 

Mr. Merlin. I don't recall. They never opposed me publicly. 
Privately I don't know what they did. Publicly there was never 
any opposition to any members of the slate that was finally nominated. 

Mr. Doyle. Who determined that slate ? 

Mr. Merlin. The membership. Two members of the 5-member 
nominating committee were appointed by the council, and the mem- 
bership at large appoints the other 3. 

Mr. Doyle. How many of those people that were on the committee 
that determined the slate were Communists ? 

Mr. Merlin. Of all the nominating committees that nominated 
me, I only found one that has been before your committee as an 
unfriendly witness. To repeat what I said before, I don't think the 
membership of the guild at large had any awareness at all that there 
was any kind of Communist influence in the guild, if there was such, 
or that any of those people were Communists until the testimony 
before the committee. 

And there is also something I am sure you have been told. It was 
a traditional policy, you see, of the Authors' League of America 
and the Radio Writers' Guild, so that the natural tendency has 
been to resent any allegations or rumors from the outside, and I think 
that the appearance before the committee — I put in parenthetically 
that I have my own particular way to try to test the reaction of our 
members, as I collected it, that after you had called witnesses here 
and they refused to testify on their possible connection with that 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3547 

kind of people it was the obligation of the council member who had 
been called by the committee he can do whatever he wants before 
the commitee, but he should resign from office in response to popular 
opinion, in fact, did resign. 

Mr. Doyle. What is your official position now with the guild? 

Mr. Merlin. I have no position. I am a member of the guild. I 
ran for the council after my term of office for one reason only. As 
a matter of fact, I ran for the office of national president with some 
reluctance. I guess everybody likes to be elected. I was told I was 
the only person who could solve a very important friction which was 
arising in the work of the screenwriters, the screen and radio writers, 
and dramatists. 

You are probably aware of the fact there has been great dissension 
between the guilds on the subject of television. So I assumed that 
office, and, of course, naturally my effort, still there, that is, is to 
represent my guild. It is a very crucial thing, but you are no doubt 
familiar with that, and I say it is pertinent in many ways, and it 
might perhaps determine the activity. It was a very crucial thing. 

The Screen Writers' Guild and the Authors' League of America 
negotiated and we struck against the television producers. I was on 
the committee for the Screen Writers' Guild. 

Mr. Doyle. What was the approximate date ? 

Mr. Merlin. This was in 1952. It happened in the summer of 
1952, when I was out of town. When I was out of town this hap- 
pened. I was on vacation. The Screen Writers' Guild had a general 
membership meeting and made a resolution not to support the strike. 
This was quite obvious to anybody that knew me and my stand about 
the period of the whole problem, was against my wishes, and when 
I first found out I returned with the full expectation of resigning, 
because there is no use to be head of a guild when everybody disagrees 
with you. I felt that the majority of the membership was not for 
the leadership, that the leadership of the guild had been opposed to 
this, and thus I was opposed to the council because I didn't have 
representation, which I did. And I lost my interest and I resigned. 
I didn't want even to have the position of representative for a 
particular reason. 

I was appointed in 1949 to be a member of the national television 
committee of the Authors' League of America by the then president 
of the Authors' League of America, and I retained this position, 
although I have been more or less indelicately asked to resign by the 
Radio Writers' Guild, but I have not, because I feel a greater respon- 
sibility within this committee under instructions of the Radio Writers' 
Guild Council. 

So thus again, also, I can conclude these negotiations with the TV 
Alliance, and I think, as a matter of fact, I am the only functional 
man on this committee. 

I don't know whether you want to go into this whole thing, but 
there is a tremendous problem within the Authors' League itself, 
which stems from the Radio Writers' Guild, and there are attempts 
being made to solve that. It is my opinion and I believe the opinion 
of the majority that the only way is to reorganize the guild and include 
the Screen Writers' Guild as an active part. 

Mr. Jackson. The committee does not desire to go into the internal 
problems of labor unions or guilds. 



3548 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Merlin. I realize that. I obviously am not entitled to give any 
information on this except as it is pertinent to what I would call out- 
side influences, and I know that there have been accusations made in 
the Radio Writers' Guild, by guild members within the Radio Writers' 
Guild, and this has been tied up with other allegations that, as I 
have heard it said, when the Communist Party failed to capture the 
Screen Writers' Guild they went to the Radio Writers' Guild with the 
thought that they might capture television. I think it is pertinent 
to see if there are any attempts toward capturing television. 

Mr. Jackson. Of course, isn't it a fact that the Radio Writers' 
Guild was represented at fraction meetings — I haven't a very clear 
recollection so that we know whether or not the efforts were success- 
ful — that those efforts were made and that representatives of the Radio 
Writers' Guild at least got broad, general directives and came to cer- 
tain conclusions and agreements within the fraction meetings as to 
what policies should be pursued? That, I am quite confident, is a 
matter of sworn testimony, so we do know that the effort was made, 
and we are trying to determine, of course, to what extent those efforts 
were successful, if at all. 

I think the record will show positively, so that we cannot be accused 
of unduly interfering in the guild work or in any group or organiza- 
tion, but we do know that the situation did obtain, and for that reason, 
to the extent necessary in the investigation of Communist infiltration, 
we do feel that we have an obligation to go into the guilds in some 
cases as we have in the past, in unions, where we have that definite 
information. 

Mr. Merlin. Well, I think, too, in the light of the general state- 
ment made by what was then called the McCarran committee last 
year in its published testimony, that the leadership of the guild 
was Communist dominated, there should be some clarification, 
because the guild has suffered tremendously and I personally have 
suffered tremendously. I was attempting to counterattack that last 
June as an officer in a Communist-dominated union on the basis of 
the testimony presented to this committee. 

So far as I have been able to determine, there was testimony by three 
members of the Radio Writers' Guild that they were not Communists. 
So far as I have read the testimony, those were allegations and not the 
kind of testimony that I have heard from this committee, where it has 
been demanded to be corroborated, so naturally the Radio Writers' 
Guild, under that kind of cloud in the public relations sense, has had 
a very tough problem. It has been, I think, reasoned that in good 
measure some of the actions taken by the Radio Writers' Guild were 
for such purposes. 

I testify in my own personal case here, as I tried to point out at 
the beginning, that the Radio Writers' Guild, so far as my experience 
is concerned, has confined itself, as well as any guild I know, to the 
problem at hand, that is, the securing of contracts, up to the time 
when there was a great struggle for jurisdiction of TV. My interpre- 
tation of that is only a personal one and we have no evidence, but I 
would like to testify I was not aware of any outside policy which 
might have influenced the committee in any way it would not have 
done otherwise. In other words, since its inception the Radio Writers' 
Guild has attempted to enter into contracts, and that has been the 
work of the guild. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3549 

Mr. Doyle. What year were you president of the Screen Writers' 
Guild? 

Mr. Merlin. Never the Screen Writers' Guild, just the Radio Writ- 
ers' Guild. I was a member of the Screen Writers' Guild. 

Mr. Doyle. Of the Radio Writers' Guild ? 

Mr. Merlin. Of the Radio Writers' Guild. 

Mr. Doyle. What year ? 

Mr. Merlin. I was national president in 1952. Actually the na- 
tional president of the Radio Writers' Guild is in a little different 
position, let us say, than the president of the Screen Writers' Guild. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, you had a council. 

Mr. Merlin. No, I did not while in the national. 

Mr. Doyle. A board of directors or something. 

Mr. Merlin. There is a national council which is separated into 
three sections. 

Mr. Doyle. But in the Hollywood area here, you were what officer ? 

Mr. Merlin. I have been vice president, but as national president 
I didn't even have a seat on the council. I appeared but didn't have 
a seat on the council. 

Mr. Doyle. I am bearing in mind one further thing I think was 
in your statement. You made some reference to the fact, in the line 
of opinion, saying you kind of identified these people trying to in- 
fluence you or trying to influence policy. I think you used the word 
"identify," in other words, as coming to your attention they were try- 
ing to influence some committee on policies. You made it clear that 
they did not influence you, but at least the impression I have in my 
mind that I would like to clear up here was that you recognized there 
were some people in the group who were trying to influence policies, 
and while you didn't identify them as Communists at that time, per- 
haps some of them later were identified as Communists. 

I wondered when you came on to that realization. 

Mr. Merlin. Well, I did say that, but I don't remember the context. 

Mr. Doyle. I am not sure that I used the exact language, but I 
think that is substantially as you said, that there was a time in your 
awareness when you were aware of the fact that there were some 
members of the group that were trying to influence policy. 

Mr. Merlin. Well, may I put it this way? First, that influencing 
the policy as such, that is, if a council member takes a position on a 
guild policy which is against my position, for instance, whether I 
agree with him, I cannot say that is something which is from the out- 
side. You don't mean that. 

Mr. Doyle. Oh, no. 

Mr. Merlin. But I would mean we had some that had some ulterior 
motive in formulating the policy. 

Mr. Doyle. That is the purport of my question. I mean this : I 
can understand how you and other leaders of the group were not 
aware back in 1952 of the fact that some members, some active mem- 
bers in the group, were bringing in a policy that was determined out- 
side of your own meetings. Now, I may be in error, but, as I recall, 
Mr. Chairman, we have some testimony, or I am under the impression 
we have, that people were definitely holding caucuses. 

Mr. Jackson. Yes, we have. 

Mr. Doyle. And then bringing into the meetings in which you were 
either presiding as chairman or vice president, they were bringing 



3550 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

in policies as a result of caucuses held outside of your meetings. That 
is as I recall the testimony we have before this committee, and that 
is what I am attempting to understand, why that didn't come under 
your observation. 

Mr. Merlin. Well, that is pretty hard to determine. I might ex- 
plain this, for instance 

Mr. Doyle. The reason I am asking you that question, sir, putting 
it up to you that way, is that we are interested in knowing how far 
back those interests go. I am not inferring even that you were in any 
way part or parcel of it, you understand. 

Mr. Merlin. I understand the question, and it is not only a perti- 
nent question but it is a question I asked myself all the time, you 
know, why didn't I detect something here, and I still say 

Mr. Jackson. Why didn't you detect it ? 

Mr. Merlin. And being vigilant, being sensitive to the problem, as 
I say, I would say in fact there have been actions taken — now, I don't 
know whether I was in favor or not, probably was not — on which cer- 
tain persons who were members of the same group did have entirely 
violent disagreement on several policies and actions, I found policies 
which must have been directed from the outside, because I felt it 
would destroy the guild; then I certainly felt it was a terribly big 
problem, but we were in complete disagreement. 

So it is awfully hard for me to say what was the policy, even if it 
was dictated outside. 

Mr. Jackson. You were aware, at least, there were policies that 
were being dictated from the outside? 

Mr. Merlin. Well, I certainly suspected that people were talking 
about those outside of, let us say, the councils. I was aware of it. 1 
did not hear anything about what they talked about. 

Mr. Jackson. In one way or other, then, you logically would have 
been aware of the fact that they were talking about it in groups out- 
side. I mean no more than this, in other words, that they were talk- 
ing about it together at least in small groups, because they came in 
and acted in accord in small groups. And the purport of that assump- 
tion on my part is that you and other leaders were aware of the fact 
that there were decisions that were being made by small groups out- 
side of your meetings, and that those decisions were projected into 
your meetings. 

Mr. Merlin. You see, as a part of this, until the television problem 
came up, there wasn't any great basic difference, so that definitely our 
members were getting — as a matter of fact, I asked Silvia Richards 
this question, what would you do in that, still how could they recom- 
mend a policy when everything seemed to be the same way. In other 
words, we were getting the contract for our members, this was pretty 
true, because what point would there be in the Communist group being 
led astray, not in our favor when they took a firm stand against the 
network, too, because this was the position of the membership, you 
know. 

Mr. Jackson. My impression is that the Communist Party in Holly- 
wood moved in ways other than work on contracts. 

Mr. Merlin. Yes. 

Mr. Jackson. I won't pursue the question further, but can you tell 
me how far back you were aware of the fact that some decisions were 
being made outside of your own meetings ? 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3551 

Mr. Merlin. Well, the only time that I personally had a feeling, 
I should say this dates back to 

Mr. Jackson. By decisions, I mean decisions by people that you 
later, at least, came to recognize were— — 

Mr. Merlin. Where I felt personally that there were reasons that 
were outside the guild interest that they should take this position was 
really actually around 1952. 

Mr. Jackson. 1952, the early part of the year ? 

Mr. Merlin. No, it came in the middle of the year, and it was con- 
nected with a particular event in issue. 

Mr. Jackson. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Michael Davidson has been identified in testi- 
mony before the committee as having been a member of the Com- 
munist Party cell organized within the Radio Writers' Guild. You 
have today told us that he was the executive secretary during the pe- 
riod when you were president and also vice president. 

Mr. Merlin. He was executive secretary of our western region. He 
was originally the executive secretary of the eastern region, and he 
was brought here, as I understand, because of the health of his wife. 

Mr. Tavenner. When was he brought here ? 

Mr. Merlin. I think that is probably this date, gentlemen. Well, it 
was before, because he was head of the office, and it must have been 
around 1947 or 1948. 

Mr. Tavenner. Does he hold a position now in the Radio Writers' 
Guild? 

Mr. Merlin. I understand that he resigned and his resignation was 
accepted. He resigned once, then he rescinded the resignation. I 
wasn't there when his change of heart was made. I accepted it, as a 
matter of fact, when I was there. I was not there in the interim 
period when he had returned, but I understand he did resign and is 
no longer in the guild. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did he resign ? 

Mr. Merlin. I wasn't present, but it was told to me afterward at a 
membership meeting, I guess it was in September or October. 

Mr. Tavenner. Of 1953 ? 

Mr. Merlin. 1953. There had just been an election of the guild. 

Mr. Tavenner. During the period when you were president or vice 
president of the guild, was Mr. Aubrey Finn connected with the 
organization ? 

Mr. Merlin. He was counsel for the western region. 

Mr. Tavenner. He appeared as a witness before this committee and 
refused to answer questions, relying upon the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Merlin. So 1 understand. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is he connected at this time with the guild ? 

Mr. Merlin. I know nothing of that. I don't know whether he is 
or not. I have discussed this issue with certain members of the guild, 
and I don't know whether any action has been taken, because an elec- 
tion was just held and there is a new council, and it is for the council 
to take action. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether any of the other persons 
whose names I mentioned during the course of your examination as 
having been identified as Communist Party members are still members 
of the council of the guild ? 



3552 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Merlin. There is only one that I know of, and I understand she 
was elected again during this last election for only one term, which 
means less votes. That is Pauline Hopkins. As a matter of fact, in 
the two elections which have been held since this information has be- 
come familiar to the guild membership, she is the only one of all of 
those that has been returned to office. My only explanation is that 
she is a widow. I don't know why it is. All the others, so far as I 
know, are people who have not been identified as Communists. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you engaged in foreign travel ? 

Mr. Merlin. No. To Mexico. I have been to Tijuana, if that is 
Mexico. 

Mr. Tavenner. In asking you the questions which have been pro- 
pounded to you, have we substantially covered the matters that you 
desired to bring to the attention of the committee? 

Mr. Merlin. Yes. I talk too rapidly, you say. For that I am 
sorry, and if I seem to have been overeager to discuss matters of the 
guild itself, please believe me for the record I am not entitled to dis- 
cuss guild policies as such, except where it is attendant to the problem 
at hand, and anything I say is based only on personal opinion and ex- 
perience, and since I do have a rather spectacular experience here, 
personally I find that I must draw certain conclusions, and for the 
purpose of testimony I can testify to that identification of anybody 
with what I felt harmed anybody. 

As a matter of fact, my purpose in bringing this up is that I would 
like to forestall what has been a question to me which has been to my 
personal concern to me and my profession, and as a citizen, that is 
the need to prove my innocence, and also have a time getting a job. 
You probably know about the confused situation in the television and 
radio industry, where even the mention of a name in connection with 
such means that you are lost and you don't know what to do about 
it. I ask the parties concerned to relieve other people of respon- 
sibility, but this means nothing to them. 

So the reason I am down here is, one, personal, and the other is to 
be of any assistance I can be to you to help in something that I think 
is a thing that is needed and that will be of benefit in my success and 
additionally for the guild. There is a personal reason for my being 
here, too. 

Mr. Tavenner. In your opinion would the Radio Writers' Guild 
endorse for an important position or any position in its organization 
a person known to be a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Merlin. I think it would be impossible today. I think the 
conclusions of this last election here — I don't know what happened 
in the East, but in the council, present council I think there are mem- 
bers that are pretty well known as being anti-Communist. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is an effort being made within your guild to remove 
from positions of leadership members or persons who have been shown 
to be members of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Merlin. Yes. This has been rather informal, and for certain 
purposes there is a great division of opinion between, I think, well- 
meaning members whether this should be made a big issue or whether 
it can be done effectively, as I think it has been done. I myself have 
talked with people on the subject, and, as a matter of fact, it was antici- 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3553 

pated, as a matter of fact, in the last election that if there was any- 
great problem there would be electioneering based on a program. 

Mr. Tavenner. This committee during its investigation has indi- 
cated its great interest in making available to all organizations con- 
cerned the Communist Party membership of leaders in its field, based 
on its view that it is a very important field and one in which the Com- 
munists, because of their tactics and propaganda activities designed 
against our Government, should not be permitted to go unnoticed. 

The committee would like to know to what extent those efforts have 
been productive of results in your field, if you know. 

Mr. Merlin. Well, I think I have indicated that before, and that 
is inasmuch as I do know that with the revelation made before this 
committee on testimony, direct testimony, that there was a radio cell 
in the Radio Writers' Guild in which certain people were named, that 
those people did not testify, were unfriendly witnesses, there is no 
question that this did affect people. I know, because I have had our 
members call me who were appalled, who were shocked and terribly 
concerned. I think it was a good indication of the membership it- 
self. There is no question tremendous good has been done. Radio 
writers are no different from anybody else. When you do have a lead- 
ership which seems to be doing a good job and is effective, you don't 
question it. They were doing a good job, so there was no question of 
the affiliation of those people, and until that became public knowledge 
it was not an issue, and after that again we see the composition of the 
council such as now there is a great change. 

And as I also know, there has been talk and actual anti-Communist 
activity which was never had in the western region. I couldn't tell 
you about the East. 

Mr. Tavenner. You recognize that you are a part of a very sensitive 
field. 

Mr. Merlin. I certainly do. 

Mr. Tavenner. And therefore the responsibility upon the leaders in 
that field is correspondingly greater. 

Mr. Merlin. I certainly do, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. Are we to conclude from your answer to Mr. Tavenner 
just before this answer that the feeling of the membership was or is 
that the leaders are doing a good job for you on contracts, that the 
fact that they may be Communist is immaterial ? 

Mr. Merlin. Well, I wouldn't put it that way. It didn't occur to 
them. 

Mr. Doyle. Is that too strong, I mean the way I put it? 

Mr. Merlin. Well, I don't think it is a fair question, because there 
was no such view at the time. Today I would say — I will put it this 
way : If officers were negotiating for a contract and it was established 
that one of the negotiators was a member of the Communist Party, I 
imagine there would be tremendous activity within the guild to do 
something about it. I say today. 

Mr. Doyle. Of course, the objective of my question was, I think, 
clearly evident. In other words, I would hope that no group of 
patriotic Americans would put their success ahead of their country's 
interests. 

Mr. Merlin. That is true. 

Mr. Doyle. I don't mean to insult you or your group by putting it 
that way, but I am asking you that so it can be clear in my mind, 



3554 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

because I wouldn't want to think, sir, the Radio Writers' Guild were 
putting their own interest in their contracts ahead of 

Mr. Merlin. Oh, no. 

Mr. Doyle. Knowing that they had known Communists as the 
leaders. 

Mr. Merlin. Well, you must have misunderstood some statement 
here. 

Mr. Doyle. I am glad I misunderstood. 

Mr. Merlin. Because what I meant by that was what I said, there 
was no question of the membership of the allegiance of its leadership, 
because it seemed to be doing a good job of representing them effec- 
tively. If the issue had occurred before, if it had been publicly known 
that important members of the leadership were Communists, I am 
sure there would have been activity within the guild long before this. 

Mr. Doyle. You mean activity to put them out of the guild ? 

Mr. Merlin. That is what happened, for instance, in the Screen 
Writers' Guild and other unions where there is an anti-Communist 
group. 

Mr. Doyle. I see. I am glad you explained that. 

Mr. Merlin. It came late because the issues which split the guild 
came late. It will put it that way, because I don't want you to mis- 
understand. I think the loyalty of the members of the Radio Writers' 
Guild is the same as any other group of people. 

Mr. Doyle. I am with you on that, and that is why I wanted you 
to clarify it. 

Mr. Merlin. And the only responsibility I could charge in that 
would be to persons such as myself, who have a major responsibility 
by being an officer of the guild, and in leadership, of not only being 
officers but of thinking correctly, as I think we are, and the only 
explanation I can make is that I could not detect to my own satisfac- 
tion how my policy was detrimental to the country or to the guild, 
being aware of it. 

Mr. Doyle. Apparently then what I say and what Mr. Tavenner 
said and what your testimony showed today is that this Radio Writers' 
Guild occupies such a sensitive position in our national security that 
you have got to keep your eyes open all the time on your leadership, 
don't you ? 

Mr. Merlin. Well, that is true, but, in other words, too 

Mr. Doyle. And since we have the question of allegiance you have 
to be aware of the possibility of their divided allegiance, being ex- 
tremely careful. 

Mr. Merlin. Being extremely careful. This is a problem of the 
members, is not only a problem of certain men but one for the general 
membership of the guild which is aware of this problem, what it knows 
about it. As I say, it is late because the necessity for it came late. It 
took some time to start it, didn't have what happened in the Screen 
Writers' Guild at all. 

Mr. Doyle. Apparently the necessity existed, but certain responsi- 
ble men were not aware of it. 

Mr. Merlin. No. With legal problems in conferences in there we 
wouldn't have anything to argue about, in general, as to the integrity 
of your leadership and membership, up until recent years. 

Then another problem came in, and for some time even that problem 
could be described as a problem which everybody else had, because 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 3555 

the conversion of the radio business in television had created conten- 
tion in all guilds, there had been peace between the actors and every- 
body else. You couldn't say because a group imposed a certain policy 
it was communistic. I have heard people term this other union as 
Communist. This writers' group have been violently against this 
since they have talked about it with the charge this was a Communist 
conspiracy. I don't know. 

Mr. Doyle. At any rate, you shouldn't let your group be caught 
again off balance. 

Mr. Merlin. There is no question about it, and I am certain we 
will never be caught again. And to my mind the Radio Writers' 
Guild has been tremendously weakened of late because we have a loss 
of income, people going over to television, and also the fact that a 
rival union was set up outside of the Authors' League. So it has its 
own internal problems, and I am sure it will never be taken in again 
by anybody that they can identify as such. 

Mr. Doyle. You say that you at no time have been affiliated in any 
way with the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Merlin. Not to my knowledge in any manner at all. 
Incidentally — — 

Mr. Doyle. Why did you limit your answer ? 

Mr. Merlin. Let me say this 

Mr. Doyle. Wait just a minute. Why did you limit your answer 
by saying "within my knowledge" ? 

Mr. Merlin. Well, that is, I guess, a rhetorical expression. What 
I mean is you asked before, you mentioned before about so-called 
closed meetings, about having sat at a progressive fraction meeting 
or things like that. To my knowledge I would say that I can't identify 
such. If that is called affiliation, then I certainly was not. I am 
sorry. It was a rhetorical tag which I put to myself often for this 
difficulty, that being a member of the committee, when you read the 
paper you found out there were some of them were called before the 
committee and refused to testify. 

Incidentally, I wonder if I may add this, just for the record: It 
has been brought to my attention that you have on one of these lists 
an agency in the name of Milton Meltzer. I read articles in the Peo- 
ple's World, one where he talked against the movie Gone with the 
Wind, and I think they discouraged him. I want to state I am not 
now or never will be with Milton Meltzer. He was not out at Para- 
mount and has not been there since months before the book was pub- 
lished. I tried to get Paramount to make it, so just as soon as Selznick 
made it I had no reason to den}^ it, but since that has been brought up 
I wondered whether that might come to your attention in some manner. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Doyle. I have no questions. 

Mr. Merlin. I want also to say this, to give you my personal reasons 
for coming. When this attack and counterattack happened, I didn't 
know where to go. I asked who I could talk to, and I called Mr. 
Wheeler. Mr. Wheeler came over within a week or so, and I want to 
say I appreciate the courtesy with which he treated me, and as a mat- 
ter of fact, he indicated at the time that you were not looking for me to 
question. That is something I want in the record here. 

Mr. Doyle. You feel that the function of the committee in your 
case is helpful. 



3556 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Merlin. Yes, sir. I asked the committee to at least put me on 
to testify regarding that, on the desire of affiliation and to bring mat- 
ters to your attention as I have found them in my knowledge and my 
experience that may be of help to your investigation. 

Mr. Tavenner. I think the record, Mr. Chairman, should also show 
that this committee cannot be engaged in the work of constituting a 
forum for people who have been criticized to come before it. How- 
ever, in this instance there has been a great deal of testimony before 
this committee relating to the Radio Writers' Guild, in which this 
witness held a very important position, and therefore it would be in 
keeping with the committee's procedure to grant his request to come 
before the committee. 

Now, off the record. 

(Discussion off the record.) 

Mr. Doyle. For the record, we will repeat Mr. Tavenner's statement 
by saying, of course, we would have to take the committee too many 
places in the Nation, and we just have the physical inability to make 
ourselves available all over the Nation. 

Mr. Merlin. I realize that. 

Mr. Doyle. I want to invite you, sir, in your very sensitive position, 
in your own distinguished self in your own professional capacity, with- 
out inferring that you have been — may I put it this way, without infer- 
ring that you have been knowingly lax, I want to invite you to be 
vigorous, with your eyes open, and active to protect this country 
against these underground termites that are trying to destroy our 
Nation by force and violence. The country needs men like you on the 
job with their eyes open. 

Mr. Merlin. Also if I may say this for the record, I think that men 
such as men who have been in as close association with these people 
as I are better equipped to recognize them in the future. I have no 
regrets. I tried as honestly as I could to acknowledge my association 
with so-called front organizations, and I have no regrets, for these two 
reasons, at the time I belonged to those I realized I didn't like what 
they did, and I feel personally that I can detect things that I could not 
detect a year or two ago. That is not caused altogether by the fact 
that the country has changed, but it is because my experience has 
taught me if you don't do something about it, then I think you just lose 
the point. 

Incidentally, before coming in here, through no invitation of mine, 
there was a corps of photographers outside and they wanted a state- 
ment. I simply said that I came in here to deny my affiliation and be 
of any assistance I could. I hope there is no objection to that. 

Mr. Tavenner. No objection. 

Mr. Jackson. Thank you very much. 

(Whereupon, at 4 p. m., Monday, November 23, 1953, the hearing 
was closed.) 



INDEX 



Individuals 

1'age 

Alland, Ruth 3518 

Alland, William L 3511-3533 (testimony), 3545 

Allen, Fred 3510 

Ameche, Don 3534 

Arnold, Fdward 3534 

Benoff, Max N 3501-3507 (testimony) 

Boyer, Charles 3534 

Brown, John _. 3508-3510 (testimony) 

Bryant, Les 3517 

Bryant, Mrs. Les 3517 

Clarke, Angela 3527 

Colman, Ronald 3534 

Colman, Mrs. Ronald 3534 

Davidson, Michael (Mike) — 3523, 3545, 3551 

Dawe, Robert Shayne 3510 

Diamond, Muni 3523 

Dmytryk, Edward 3532 

Fielding, Jerry 3523 

Finn, Aubrey 3551 

Gesell 3512 

Goldstein, Leonard 3513 

Hammer, Alvin 3518 

Hardin, John Wesley 3513 

Harrison, Milton Sbeppard (see also Milton Merlin) 3533 

Hay, Anita 3517 

Hopkins, Pauline 3523, 3545, 3546, 3552 

Jarrico, Paul 3523 

Kraft, Hy — 3500, 3523 

Lawson, John Howard 3523 

Lindeman, Mitchell — 3526 

Lubitsch, Ernst 3534 

Max, Ed 3523 

Meltzer, Milton 3555 

Merlin, Milton (see also Milton Sheppard Harrison)- 3532. 3533-3556 (testimony) 

Moore, Sam 3523, 3527, 3538, 3544, 3545 

Morris, Chester — 3534 

Morse, Carleton 35 12 

Moss, Jack 3503-3505 

Mowbrav, Alan 3534 

Mullen, Virginia 3516, 3517, 3522-3524, 3527, 3528, 3545 

Mverson, Ruth — 3517 

Perlin, Paul 3517, 3518 

Rapf. Harry 3534 

Ravmond, Judith 3523 

Richards, Silvia 3537, 3538. 3550 

Robinson, Jack 3. r >°3. 3.", tr, 

Robinson, Mary 3523, 3545 

Selznick 3555 

Shafron, Eva 3514, 3515 

Ship, Reuben 3523, 3527, 3545 

Simms, Ginny 35"4 

Soloman, Lou — 3503-3505 

3557 



3558 index 

Page 
Stapp, John 3523 

Stevenson, Houseley, Jr — 3509 

Stone, Gene 3523, 3545 

Thomas, Norman 3543 

Tietz, J. B 3508-3510 

Torgsin 3506 

"Vinson, Owen 3545 

Waxman, Stanley 3523 

Welles, Orson 3512, 3541 

Whitney, Lynn 3523 

Wolff, Ann 3542 

Wolff, Bill 3526 

Zuckerman 3533 

Organizations 

Air Corps 3512, 3515 

Amtorg Trading Corp 3506 

Arts, Sciences and Professions Council of Hollywood 3543 

Authors' League of America 3535, 3546, 3547, 3555 

Columbia (Pictures) 3534 

Columbia Broadcasting System 3513, 3515, 3517, 3519, 3520 

Council of Arts and Sciences 3541 

Council of Arts, Sciences and Professions 3528 

Experimental Radical Theater 3538 

Federal Bureau of Investigation 3530 

Hollywood Anti-Nazi League 3540 

Hollywood Writers' Mobilization 3540, 3541 

John Reed Club 3538-3540 

League of American Writers 3541 

Los Angeles Labor School 3515 

Mercury Theater 3511 

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 3534 

Monogram 3534 

National Labor Conference for Peace 3544 

Office of War Information 3512 

Paramount (Films) 3534, 3538, 3555 

Psychoanalytical Society 3517 

RKO 3512, 3534 

Radio Artists' Guild 3536 

Radio Writers Guild 3527, 3535-3537, 3544, 3546-3549, 3551-3556 

Radio Writers' Guild Council 3547 

Santa Monica Bay Musical Association 3538 

Screen Writers' Guild 3505, 3527, 3536, 3546-3549, 3554 

Socialist Party 3543 

Signal Corps 3541 

TV Alliance 3547 

Universal Studios 3513, 3522 

University of California at, Berkeley 3533 

University of California a£!Los Angeles 3533, 3541, 3544 

We the Undersigned 3536, 3546 

Writers' Congress 3541 

.. .. Publications 

Daily Topics 3534 

Los Angeles Times • 3544 

People's World £ 3555 

Santa Monica Outlook 3533 

o 



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